Dying Inspiratioin

Posted: September 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

This was supposed to be about the greatest story ever told, but Jesus beat me
to it. This was then to become the greatest self-help essay for the everyday
writer, something that would rain brimstone from heaven coupled with sinful
fragrances from hell to lift the creative spirit. This was to be about the scent
of water, the clasp of pain’s tines clanging from steeples, the regret in tears
forming circles around a coffin.

This was to be so many things, when I
first sat down to write: the bird that landed in Nick’s hair when he spoke the
word Mother during the eulogy for his mom who had died in 911. I wanted
to capture that baby bird landing in Nick’s hair, capture that magic moment and
liquefy it into words, until it distilled in the power of Zoetrope’s red and
white pages. The touch of Nick’s fingers upon baby feathers as the tiny creature
allowed him to pick it off his head. He held it, looked at it, but it didn’t fly
away. Not until someone picked the bird out of his hand so that he could
continue the eulogy, not until then did the bird take flight. And Nick’s smile,
the transformation of grief to hope, that his mother was there, speaking to him
through downy feathers.

I wanted to capture that, but failed.

The
glint of sunlight on a dandelion’s dewdrops; the kiss of yesteryear on the
vainglorious backside of today; the hint of tomorrow in the aching joints that
pulled us from this morning’s bedside covers; the warmth of touch with the one
you love; and the seep of mystery before the fire.

I planned it all,
really I did. It was all to go into each little jot and tittle of these words,
and from there it would travel through the corneas of your eyes, then bleed into
your brain—all the pain and pleasure and mystery described before this atrocious
sentence—until the words would slide down deep inside you, where the deep things
are—Subconscious things! Terrible things!—until you couldn’t deny that
these little markings on your computer are etched in God’s own truths and forged
by lies of man; until you realized epiphany wrapped in… What? Wrapped in
something, that’s what.

But my words failed and the moment for
inspiration has passed. The beating heart slows even as it thumps a little
harder in the old man’s chest. The child across town sleeps as the old man dies,
and somehow the writer tries to tie a connection betwixt the two, but can’t
because the time has come… and gone… like air breathing in… and out…

Until only expulsion remains, one great sigh of regret. The bones ache
and flesh hangs limp from brittle bones. Old age creeps in, dulls the senses,
blurs vision and memories and history books.

What was I saying? You
were describing what you almost wrote.
Oh, yes. Thank you.

I would
have written it, really I would have, had it only come to me as if a dream. So,
alas, I have instead written what I wouldn’t have had true inspiration inspired
me instead.

(Inspired by This Is Not to Say by Amy Lee Scott from
The Best of the Web 2010, a story originally published in the online
magazine Bevity. I spent minutes writing this, while Amy probably spent
her whole life writing two-pages of fantastic stuff. She was truly
inspired. Besides, she edited hers while I didn’t touch mine.)

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