I am driving which I love to do. It seems this activity acts as the muse for the creative side of my brain. I simply do my best thinking at the wheel of my car. Ideas come to me like road exits on the highways of Nova Scotia. They can be few and far between but it is guaranteed that at one point there will be one. This is particularly true when it comes down to my writing.
On this day, I was driving towards Canso. Tourists would call the route leading to this town scenic but I was not noticing the last rays of sunshine playing across the ocean. Driving had lulled me deep within my thoughts. And then suddenly it hits me. I usually don’t see it coming. One moment my mind is blank and the next moment there is an amazing picture within my cerebral grasp; picture of perfect words connecting to make amazing sentences linking to other sentences to create a mind-blowing story, poem, fable…
At this moment I know what it is to be God. I know what it is to create and to hold perfection within my mind. You should see the words. My God, the power of these words! They fulfill flawlessly each sentence. How did I come up with them? There is powerful magic at play here.
I want to hold this godly moment forever. I want it to last. Surely as a God, I can tame Chronos. But this is not to be. Under a mysterious compunction, I take the pen up and I thrust this weapon deep at the heart of this semantic Eden. I try to write the words that are burning into my mind on this virgin piece of paper. I chisel at the words, trying to give them substance, trying to make them real and at this moment, I know what it is to be cast out of Olympus. With every written word, I start my descent into hell. The perfect words disappear. The flawless image is getting blurry slipping away through the ink bleeding onto the paper.
Joy and contentment are now being replaced by despair because in the words I have written I see no greatness. I only see opportunities. Perfection is lost to me. What have I done? Do I surrender and drop my pen putting my perfect words into memories’ grave hoping inspiration will reinstate again my godliness leading me again at the door of words’ Eden?
To my misery, I can’t. I must take the pen and chisel at the words once again. I am no more a God. I am a simple sculptor with a slab of stone who is trying to find the image he has seen in his mind in the rock at his feet. The image continually changes every time the rock hit the chisel refusing perfection; refusing permanence.
I now know as the dying God of my story, I must do one last act. I must let go of these perfect words that have embraced my mind for one fleeting moment. I must offer my words the taste of the forbidden fruit and cast them permanently out of Eden. I must give my words freedom.
Slowly my despair recedes. From the deepest part of my soul, a story is coming to life. It’s far from being perfect but it is much more. It is unique like my struggle. It is me.
I realize then while I think godly words that I write ungodly words and somehow between these two extremes the human story lies hidden waiting to emerge. We were never meant for perfection. We were meant to struggle and grow.
By the next time I am inspired again by these godly words, I will have forgotten this lesson. Such is the price to be paid for willingly being seduced by such inspiration.