This piece is by Tessa Thomson, a member of our group who’s poetry is truly outstanding.
Inspiration (noun; the act of inspiring; stimulation by a divinity; a genius, idea or a passion).
A writer finds inspiration everywhere. Putting it down on paper is the difficulty. Sometimes I hear a phrase, maybe a couple of people chatting will say something I can use, or just being out in the garden can give inspiration for a piece of work.
Usually, inspiration comes during waking hours at night. That’s when I remember that I forgot to put the notebook and pen back beside the bed. But then a friend recently said she was frightened of being sent by the well-meaning family into a nursing home. Inspiration!
I’m frightened did I hear you say, of being all alone
Of being sent so far away to someone else’s home
To some grand house to sit around with others of your age
Like gilded birds of paradise inside a gilded cage
Recently I was watching my husband working in the garden, getting it ready for winter. Inspiration!
I’ve cleared all the leaves from the garden,
I’ve planted some bulbs in the beds.
I’ve rescued the tenderest flowers,
And cut off the dead flowering heads.
Our own memories probably provide the best inspiration but can sometimes provide the saddest.
My own poems can be very dark, but they are my stories. In the end, whether it’s a story or a poem, how it’s told and how it touches the individual is what makes good writing. Inspiration is the starting point; it’s what happens next that takes the reader beyond the imagination.
Recently someone wrote in a thank you note to me “our shared love of your daughter will ensure we meet again very soon”. Whilst I found the sentiment unsettling it did provide inspiration.
You say you seek a shared love with someone I hold dear
But how can that be possible; the obstacles are clear
The love I have is borne of pain; of risk and much besides
Of waking nights; of memories; of tears, I always hide.
My love is tough and gentle too but never harsh to bear
It’s that which gives such grace and joy and content to my heir
By this great love, her life is traced from childhood up to now
But you would seek to feel that love; to harness it somehow.
As Samuel Johnson remarked in 1799
What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure