It’s not there, then it is. A microsecond is all that stands between empty and full, between everyday and inspired. It’s a flash, and after its dramatic landing, in the pit of the stomach, it seeps through the body, gradually taking shape. You can map it through your veins as it forms, before it pours out through the pen, the fifth limb.
The ink streams into letters, into words, then ideas. Sometimes they come quickly, too fast in fact, for your hand to keep up. So fast that you have to go back again and again to change and remould. You have to scribble out the words that don’t work and scribble in the ones that work better, striving always for the polished ornament from the rough cut of wood that had, until moments before, lay undiscovered. It takes work, from that initial seed, to grow something healthy, something beautiful, but all you need is a seed, no matter how wildly it grows.
Other times an idea takes shape so slowly that you question if that first flash was in fact a short circuit rather than a bolt from the blue. It doesn’t stay long enough to develop. It teases you, taunts you, then, before you’ve had chance to latch on, it abandons you. It leaves you empty, hoping patience will get you through while you wait for the idea to come back into focus. It takes work, from that initial seed, to grow something healthy and something beautiful, of course. But all you need is a seed, no matter how slowly it sprouts.
And you have to wonder where they come from, these seeds, these ideas. You can’t touch them, weigh them or measure them. You can’t package them or order them. All you can do is run with them until you get to the finished product. You can only celebrate the idea becoming a creation, the intangible becoming tangible, there to be gazed upon, read, touched, and admired. Be it poetry or prose, a painting or a photograph, or even a discovery theorised a century ago, the miracle of human creation so often begins with a flash and a bang, a wave of inspiration, a seed, an idea.