I agreed with myself to write here every two weeks, and made a more important agreement, to write only, if I had something authentic to share that also inspired me. It has been over three weeks though since I wrote my last post, as I couldn’t find much inspiration to write.
It turns out that it doesn’t work this way. Inspiration is a myth, and it doesn’t show up when you want, nor can you wait for it to happen. We must simply be open to see and grab it, when it passes you by.
I went for outside help. Google search gave me 128,000,000 results on lack of inspiration in 0,38 sec. From psychology to writing techniques, I could spend the rest of my life reading about the theme. No, this search didn’t help me.
Then, I came across one of Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, from American cartoonist Bill Watterson. Hobbes asks Calvin if he has already come up with an idea for a story. “No, Calvin says, I’m waiting for inspiration. You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.” What mood is that? Hobbes asks Calvin, who replies: “Last-minute panic.”
I was starting to get into this mood, exactly as Calvin. Stuck with my thoughts, like a broken record, frozen.
Then something magic happened. I got a video from a good friend, about a homeless man, who lived 35 years on the streets of Brazil, and happened to write poems. It is a remarkable and emotional story, of a woman who befriended him, and when touched by his poetry, wanted to help him to publish his book. By publishing his story on Facebook, she helped him to recover his dignity, his family and his life. I won’t tell you the full story but instead give you the link to watch this video , as I don’t want to take this beautiful moment from you.
There you will immerse in a story of abundant generosity and sensitivity from a woman, who could see beyond appearances, and with refined empathy, saw the human being behind the squalid body inside torn clothes, and a long and dirty hair. Her attitude was touching, because it is unfortunately rare, as we humans increasingly became accustomed to watch atrocities on TV, or worse than that, we witness all sorts of social discrepancies and misery, in a state of numbness, not questioning anymore and accepting it, as a normal fact of life.
This man’s fate and endurance went deep in my heart. While being imprisoned in a miserable life, despite all odds, he defied his inhuman condition, finding beauty in words, and using it to communicate and share it with whoever crossed his way. In spite of all, he was dreaming to publish a book, and reaching out to people, asking for connection and help, on his own way.
Anyone can take unique lessons from his experience, no matter what difficulties, uncertainties, losses, problems or sufferings that you are going through your life journey, for his suffering touches all facets, and serves all sizes, colors and tastes of the human existence.
I for one, felt very small in light of my search for inspiration, declaring it instantly meaningless. I am not a professional writer but a lover of words. I have always been, as long as I can remember that I learned to read and write. Words have smell, texture, size, taste, a movement, a temperature… They help me express views, thoughts, emotions, facts, experiences, better than I would do in speaking or in a visual format.
I see now that I need no inspiration. In fact, I must have no hope that you will like what I write and must not expect that. This doesn’t come as arrogance or lack of respect for your opinion, my reader, but as a reflection on how much, I, and perhaps all of us humans, block our creativity, spontaneity and authenticity, in the name of fulfilling imaginary expectations, of what others expect from us. If you took your time read, you might as well have found affinity with my words and world, and became interested to join me in my journey to share experiences, which we all can learn something from.
The homeless man said: “Hope is the heaviest weight a man can carry. It is the bane of the idealist.” He has made a profound point here.
Sometimes there will be happy and inspiring posts. Sometimes there will be sad or boring ones. That is how my life experiences balance themselves out. What is in between this duality, is not ‘hope’ to change things, but acceptance of this duality, followed by a strong will to take responsibility for my destiny and move into action.
I wish for me and for you to never quit, to never back down from questioning, but above all to not make this a quest for perfection; life is made of dualities, and we get entangled in a labyrinth of unhappiness, if we deny that fate.
I thought of the countless times, when I have needlessly, overemphasized my perceptions of tough and challenging situations, focusing more on events that happened in the past – which in retrospect I couldn’t possibly change – instead of looking at what I could do ‘now’ to keep moving, keeping the past just as reference, and as a lesson, if any.
I thank you, the reader, because you made me want to give you my best. I am grateful to this man’s video for helping me understand, with simplicity and humility, that this search wasn’t for inspiration but authenticity.
Lastly, I leave you with this quote from Leonard Wolf.
“The curious truth . . . is that the writer who goes out with the bucket daily, seems to provoke the rain.”
Let’s keep moving after our goals and dreams, provoking the needed ‘rain’, which nurtures our growth as human beings.