Thursday, May 08, 2014

Inspiration is Burning on the Rooftops

The whole world is your rhetorical toolbox.

There’s a fascinating book called The Demon and the Angel, written by award winning poet and critic, Edward Hirsch. It explores the creative process by recounting and analyzing the mysterious forces that inspired famous creators in history, from poets to authors to musicians to painters.

In the final chapter of the book, the author concludes with an eloquent and inspiring vision of how different artists respond to the power and demonic energy of the creative impulse:

“Inspiration is burning on the rooftops, moving through secret passageways and windy staircases, through corridors of light, precarious thrones, scarlet mountain ranges. It is carved in stone in crumbling apartment buildings, country churches, abandoned cemeteries, gathering its strength in railroad yards at sunset that are tinged with immaterial reds, ghostly blues. It flames out like shining from shook foil, like twenty thousand stars purpling at midnight. It flashes its sword in the gate, and troubles your dreams. It is a cry that rises out of human body and annunciates the constant baptism of newly created things. Listen closely and you may hear a voice that cries from very far down inside you. That voice is trumpeting a liberation.”

And so, everything goes into the hopper and enables you. Everything around you is a point of connection with crossover usefulness. Everything is just one ingredient in a big, boiling pile of inputs. Everything is lying around waiting to be discovered, camouflaged against the patterns of everyday life, waiting for you to detect them.