Friday, May 27, 2011

A Fleeting Moment

The other day I was driving past a cemetery and a song came on. It had this really amazing piano refrain, and the singer had a soft, rugged voice as he sang about starting over—or something like that. Since we were between rainstorms (like, literally in the twenty minutes between), I had the convertible top down, and little bits of cottonwood tree fluff swirled around in the air.

I slowed the car, gazing over the headstones and multi-colored flowers, and realized that a cemetery is not really the scary, zombie-ridden place we thought it was as kids. Actually, it’s beautiful and sacred because it is the one common place where an entire community lays loved ones to rest. And I was inspired. Scenes in two different books will probably come out of that inspiration.

It wasn’t the kind of feeling that can be forced, but one that comes unbidden, in that perfect moment that embeds itself in your memory and changes you, even though you weren’t doing anything to deserve it.

Sometimes inspiration is like that. Momentary. Fleeting. A throbbing ache that reaches up and grabs you by the throat and squeezes. (Feel free to change my description to one that fits you more accurately. Perhaps you prefer something more like: A 200lb boulder that slams into your chest and steals your breath, your very soul…) And in that moment, you just know you have the power to change the world, or at least the thinking of one person in the world.

That moment, my friends, is a gift. When you find one of those, be very careful and please don’t waste it.

What moments have inspired you lately? And what will you do with that inspiration?

*Don't forget to enter to win a hard cover copy of The Forgotten Locket.*

5 comments:

Sierra Gardner said...

I actually think we can cultivate the ability to experience and treasure moment like this by not ignoring them when they come along.

p.s. I LOVE cemeteries - they are so peaceful!

Carolyn V said...

We lived by a cemetery when I was a little girl. Every time we drove past it I'd close my eyes so I wouldn't see all the ghosts.

It means something completely different to me now. Funny how things change.

Elana Johnson said...

Awesome! I love getting inspiration from the real world, from just doing real-life things. And I drive past that cemetery every day, and it is beautiful.

Jeff King said...

What has inspired me?

Watching my daughter turn sixteen and start driving, has affected my on a grand scale. I am 36 going on 60 (the way time seems to fly by) and I realize I need to spend more time with her, be there for her… and enjoy ever second I have with her. Because when she grown and off to collage—and her own life—my time with her will be limited to holidays.

What am I going to do?

I am going to live in the moment and appreciate life for what it is. And let those people in my life know what they mean to me every day from here on out.
Life to short to be looking ahead at tomorrow!!

L.T. Elliot said...

"It wasn’t the kind of feeling that can be forced, but one that comes unbidden, in that perfect moment that embeds itself in your memory and changes you, even though you weren’t doing anything to deserve it."

Those moments transform. In a book I read recently, the author described PERFECTLY the laden stillness of the sound of falling snow. And it was incredible. I was whisked into an image and heard the sound with precise clarity.

Three weeks ago, I took my sons to the ocean for the first time. That hour or so woke things in me that I didn't know lived under the surface. I know a scene is coming out of that experience.

Well said, Nichole. You brought me alive with this post.