Let go from everything you think you know about creativity and inspiration. There are no rules. Inspiration is everywhere. It’s in the breath we take everyday. It’s in the gloom of a rainy day sky, or the warmth of a sunburnt day. It’s in the street gutter that we seldom look in and in the dirty nooks and crannies of a dusty room. It’s in the simplicity of a baby’s smile and in the wrinkles of an ancient hand. It’s in the orange you hold and smell before you peel it and in the sweet juice after you take your first bite. It’s in the rotting, discarded fish at the dockside filling the air with its pungent odor. It’s even in those moments when we aren’t trying and feeling the numbing chill of an indifferent world. Touch, feel, sight, smell, aural…everything submits to inspiration. If you ever feel uninspired, then perhaps you have closed yourself off to it and think that it is uni-directional from specific places. Be in every moment and experience. Inspiration is always reaching out its undiscriminating hands to touch you.
I’ve always known inspiration. Seldom do I have any writer’s block. In fact, I have the opposite issue: too much to feel and say. There doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day for me to sit still and create art before I get whisked away by something else that intrigues me. I have to sometimes impose a discipline bubble around me in order to finish anything.
In the past few years, I have found deep inspiration in a great deal of sorrow that lives in my heart. I’ve written some fantastically sad songs and become something of a sad song specialist. Trust me. I’m very good at making people cry. Not sure if I’m actually proud of that 😉 It’s also been a driving force in some of the dreams I’ve had for the book that I’m writing, BOX. Profound sorrow is an intriguing place to write from because the exploration of it requires a person to become very comfortable with darkness. Of course, it can be exhausting to be inspired from this direction and I’ve worked hard to balance this out. I actually took something of a 3 year sabbatical from music and performance because I was fatigued from writing sad songs all the time. I think by now I’ve lived in sorrow enough to be able to let most of it go. I’ve created some of my best work in this space and it’s time to move in another direction.
Thankfully, I haven’t struggled hard to find a different kind of inspiration. I have spent the past two years as a conduit for the story of others and have found great beauty and strength in those around me. People never stop astounding me with their endless capacity for invention and creativity, humility, ego, frailty, strength, darkness, glory…our spectrum is abundant and fathomless. People are capable of such great change and also profound stubbornness. It all surprises me constantly.
I am also deeply inspired by the love we are capable of. For a long time, I considered myself incapable of allowing myself to receive love. I closed myself off and became somewhat of a one man island. Being a one man island can be incredibly liberating. I found a way to live a type of independence most people spend a lifetime searching for. I became a fearless juggernaut of advocacy for compassionate and non-judgmental living because I see the world for what it is: an interdependent mass of collected individuals. It became easy to fluidly move about without restraint, without ties to anywhere and without anything holding me back. However, being a one man island can be an isolated existence. Even though I am very comfortable with my solitude and my own skin, I do still need my connection to humanity…and to love. It’s easy for me to give love, but very hard for me to allow myself to receive it. There are few things in the world that can instill fear in me and yet, I fear myself the most. I fear my capacity to reach into the coldest parts of my heart and race towards an existence of pursuing oblivion.
To remedy this, I have had to slowly find a way to allow myself to be loved. Inch by inch, I have come back into the world and it gives me a new set of inspiration to draw from. I have even allowed myself to have wonderful intimate relationships, living in all of their passionate insanity instead of shying away from it all. A great philosophical mind and friend of mine, Alexandros Pagidas (visit his site: Idealism in Practice), said to me once that men like us carry the capacity to fall into crazy, compromising love, not because we are self-destructively uninhibited, but, simply put, because we can handle it. Whereas, most people, are too careful with loving. We carry the strength to deal with love’s roller coaster and he encouraged me to come back to that strength and live fully in it. It has been most inspiring to remember that I have this within me and I thank him for this reminder, for it has allowed me to begin creating art from an even more inspiring direction. In this way, I am ever unlocking my own box and hopefully, I can serve as an instrument for you to unlock your own box, also.
I leave you with the lyrics to a new song I will be performing secretly tonight somewhere in San Francisco.
To think I almost left the arms of the city…in the cold
To think the city was trying its best …to strike me down
To think there was only one way that I saw…around it all
To think I would have almost never touched you…before I crawled
Away from you
I almost found myself away from you
I’m ashamed to say
To think that every time I looked outside I only saw…my chilled heart
To think that everyday I thought that this…is all there was
To think that in a strange way the stars above couldn’t…bless this silly boy
To think that at the center of it all…stood the finest light
Away from you
I almost found myself away from
I’m ashamed to say
Sitting there in perfect divinity
How could I foolishly think that you were someplace else
Look at you. Love’s most simplicity
And I will never again go someplace else
– Inspired Rabbit