I’ve been struggling just recently. Nothing too serious, nothing completely debilitating. Just a lack of inspiration. I write about water a lot and I think it is because writing is a very elemental thing for me. Inspiration typically comes from a word or a phrase associated with the four elements. It will get me going, get trapped in my head like a horrible song verse. I won’t be able to put it down. I’ll start with a place and write my way in. But recently, nothing has been jumping out at me.
So, I tried the normal go-to’s:
And, when none of those helped, I decided to go find some inspiration swimming around in the thick humid Carolina air. Sometimes writing is an active sport – the more I practice, the better I get. And, some days, I just don’t got the goods. But, I have to show up everyday and try.
We have a little park near our house (or, kind of near. Nothing is really near us) called the Chatham Northwest District Park. A far off thunder storm was calling but we decided to risk it – packed a lunch, grabbed our trusty frisbee and headed out.
When we first discovered this park, it was unnamed. So, we named it the Creepy Church Camp. I don’t know the exact history and I don’t really care to know it – the mystery is a lot more seductive than the truth. It was clearly an old camp ground with a lot of religious markers but it was falling apart. And, like most things that decay, in the right light, it is really kind of beautiful.
The county is fixing it up which is a complete shame, in my opinion. Safer, probably. The low hanging electrical wires and hobo filled cabins are, most likely, not great for children. The first time we hiked out the old trail, we imagined all the campy (pun intended) horror movies we could create. Old falling down cabins with raccoon families bunking down. Picnic tables destroyed by huge fallen trees. The Creepy Church Camp is what I’d imagine a camp would be like after the apocalypse.
I’m surprised every time I see another living soul scouting about in the Creepy Church Camp. I’m not ashamed to admit my first thought is usually: zombies. Worse yet, scary 70s church camp zombies. Those are…like…the worst kind!
But, it really is spectacular. If you walk along the trail, you’ll find little wooden markers pointing out smaller paths straight out into green moss and Oak. The first path we found was the “Prayer Area”. We walked out and found a mess of wooden benches situated in a circle. I’m not a religious person, but if you are, I can’t imagine a better place than in the middle of thick woods with the sun streaming through the canopy to worship. Just, please excuse the super creepy blood stained cross. I’m not joking.
I looked everywhere for my misplaced inspiration. It wasn’t in the cabins. It wasn’t in the lichen growing on the north side of the trees. It definitely wasn’t in the amphitheater – and I looked there twice. I fed the sweet little fish the remnants of my sandwich but they hadn’t seen my inspiration anywhere.
We listened for the thunder, watched the clouds roll in black like a charcoal painting against a milky blue palette. We walked and walked, the air sweltering and sweat dripping down our backs. We watched tiny toads jump across the trail, seeking out the shade. Every once in a while, we would find little pockets of cool ozone, the harbinger of nasty weather to come. It smelled like bark and dirt. The clouds began to spark. Still, no inspiration.
It doesn’t matter. I’ll find it somewhere. In a wine glass. In a playlist. In the Gillian Flynn novel I am reading (Dark Places – book review pending). It never really leaves me for very long. But, when it is missing, I feel anxious. Class on Tuesday means I better come up with something. It will come, it will come. Deep breath, it will come.
- Round Here – Counting Crows
- Low – Cracker
- Cocaine – Eric Clapton
- Lost in Your Eyes – Debbie Gibson
- Should I Stay or Should I Go – The Clash
- Gods and Monsters – Lana Del Rey
- Me and The Devil Blues – Robert Johnson
- Toxic – Yael Naim
- I Know You Care – Ellie Goulding
- Faith – George Michael
- My Sharona – The Knack
- Ten Cent Pistol – The Black Keys
- This is what makes us girls – Lana Del Rey
- Heavy In Your Arms – Florence and the Machine
- 99 Problems – Hugo
- Kiss with a Fist – Florence and the Machine
- Collarbone – Fujiya and Miyagi
- Damn These Vampires – The Mountain Goats
- Angel – Jimi Hendrix
- Here You Come Again – Dolly Parton