“This is how it works: You’re young until you’re not, you love until you don’t, you try until you can’t, you laugh until you cry, you cry until you laugh and everyone must breath until their dying breath. No this is how it works: You peer inside yourself, you take the things you like; then you try to love the things you took…. and then you take that love you made and stick it into some…. someone else’s heart pumping someone else’s blood.” Wise words I would love to take credit for but unfortunately I cannot…. Correction. I don’t wish I could take credit for them.
This is because in my own humble opinion there is nothing quite like feeling connected to someone you have never even met through their words, their music, their photography, their art, their film; their creation in short. When I feel truly inspired a multitide of thoughts and feelings build inside of me that I will most probably never be able to put into words. But in this article I would like to try.
I am sure the experience is different for everyone, but my first thought is that the things people can create are incredible and unbelievable. It makes me feel empowered and intimidated all at once. Big and small. I get this feeling in particular when it comes to reading or listening to music because I create both myself. For example, I used to write poetry as a teenager. I still do on occassion, but back then it was a larger part of my life. Some of my fondest memories of secondary school are contained in the second last room of the second storey of that cowshed-like building discussing poetry with the excellent English teacher I had for Leaving Cert. I remember reading Eavan Boland and feeling so inspired by how beautiful she made ordinary things using ordinary language (check out her poem “This Moment”, it epitomises what I am referring to). It was something I did myself when writing poetry and it made me think “wow. I don’t need to use poetic jargon no one will understand on first glance. This woman ues the same ordinary language I do and this is beautiful”. Something that as seen above, singer/songwriter Regina Spektor also does, using not only language but also sound in her art form. She sounds extremely elequent and educated at times; mispronouncing and using child-like language at others (“that solos real long, but it’s a pretty song”).
Listening to music I relate to, reading a book I relate to or watching a film I relate to all gives me the same feeling a great relationship does. They make my feelings thoughts and actions feel justified, they make me feel like I’m not alone, they make my thoughts feelings and actions seem somehow beautiful and unique. They make me see that with all the bad they world has to offer, it offers us just as much good if we’re willing to look for it. That it’s natural to feel like my world is crashing down around me and just as natural to feel like it’s rising farther than I ever thought it could. They make things clear, simpler to understand than it previously was. A good poet knows how to take a complex issue and turn it into 14 lines.
I think that the majority of people do not realise how much beauty they have to offer the world, even if only one other person gets to experience it. So go, create. If it’s as simple as including your actual thoughts in your next birthday card, postcard, letter or email rather than the ones you perceive as “the norm” or “what’s expected”- do it. If you feel in a particularly poetic mood, give it a try. Sit down and write it. No one else has to see it. If it remains on your hard drive as something for you to look at when you want to feel good about yourself, that’s a great outcome. If it makes you realise things you never even knew you thought that’s great too. If you walk out into your garden and notice that it’s blossomed into something you like to look at, p take a photo, paint a painting, draw a picture. When the seasons change you’ll still have it and maybe you could even share it with someone. When your child sings a song that makes you smile, record it. You’ll have it whenever you like, when they’re older they’ll appreicate it and it’ll make them feel even more connected to you.
Lyrics from “On the Radio” by Regina Spektor from her album “Begin to hope”