Friday, June 26, 2009

Inspirational Monsters Lurk Underground

The world is rife with inspiration. It covers all things like a sticky residue left behind from some convoluted awareness, just waiting for creative minds to see it. It is everywhere in every thing we do, even if it is hidden.

Have you ever been so moved by a feeling that you had to do something about it? Has something ever just struck you hard enough to shove you down into the depths of something more?

I recall sitting on a park bench outside of my previous place of employment during last fall. As I sat, at the end of a long day, listening to my MP3 player and staring vacantly, my mind wandered. And I let it. Even if I try to contain it, it always manages to jump the fence anyway. That dead "in between" time that we all experience throughout our day seemed like the best time to just let it roam.

My place of employment was situated high atop a hill. And, living where I do in Pennsylvania, the place is covered in hills. The geography here does not know the meaning of the word "flat".

So I sat..mesmerized by my music, staring off to the next scatter of PA dunes. Among my usually heavy and offensive playlist, the slightly calmer song, "Believe", by The Bravery, began to play. I had no idea that things were beginning to churn. People passed by without a glance, entering and exiting the sliding doors that opened into the vesitbule.
"The faces all around me,
they don't smile they just crack."
Some had blank stares. Others carried the days frustration out in the open. Rarely would I witness a smile.
"Waiting for our ships to come
but our ships not coming back."
Ah yes, he's late. I sometimes feel like he won't show up at all.
"We do our time like pennies in a jar,
what are we saving for?"
What the hell am I doing here. Why do I keep coming back?
The song played through more as I stared at the hills. The trees were beautiful but growing sparse this time of year as the leaves had been well into dropping. I could still see nature's beautifully changing colors, although I contemplated other things. I was not where I wanted to be. I was a writer! I had to create! Here I felt, empty and unfulfilled. The chorus sang directly to me.
"So give me something to believe,
cause I am living just to breath.
And I need something more,
to keep on breathing for.
So give me something to believe."
In my head I was pleading along with the lyrics. I saw people every day who were much older than myself, living this unhappy existence. Many did not want to be where they were. Yet at that point in their lives, they felt doomed to stay. I saw them and I felt for them. But they made their decisions and I know I must make mine while there is still time.
"Somethings always coming,
you can hear it in the ground.

It swells into the air
with the rising, rising sound..."
For a moment I noticed the gentle roll of the hills. I scanned the tree tops, some were still thick with red and gold leaves while others were dead reminders of their summer selves. They reached up with jagged arms to the clouds, pleading for someone to see.
"And never comes but shakes the boards,
and rattles all the doors.
What are we waiting for?"
I could feel it. I couldn't see it but I knew it was there. It had to be. My eyes traced the rise and fall of the closest hill. and I saw it, as my vision crested it's top. It was no hill but the hump of a giant, decaying monster, buried before time learned how to think. It asked, what the hell was I waiting for?
"I am hiding from some beast,
but the beast was always here.
Watching without eyes,
because the beast is just my fear."
It was true. I was afraid. Afraid of failing. Afraid of rejection. Afraid of trying! I knew in my mind I had made all these everyday trials into a massive beast blocking my path. It needed no eyes to watch my lack of progress, because it was all in my head.
"That I am just nothing,
now its just what I've become.
What am I waiting for,
it's already done."
I was done. I was here, I was nothing. This is not who or what I want to be. This is not what I want for myself and I was setting myself up to be the same as those I pitied. It was already done-I was already nothing. Now it was time for me to be something.

Each hill covered a giant monster. The trees and structures that cover the landscape are great arms, ears and horns, jutting up. They are dead and decaying, but they try to be seen. Places thick with vegetation may have been tangles of fur. And I could see them, they were huge. I knew I had to resurrect them. I could not let them decay any longer.

I did not immediately quit my job that day. But that was when things started. I used to write every free moment I got when I was in high school. But I had stopped. The ironic part was, I didn't have time. Being an "adult" means you no longer have time, or so I thought. You must work 9 to 5 at a job you hate and whatever time remains is mostly for sleeping.

But it was all wrong. I realized that if I wasn't going to have time, then I wasn't going to have time doing something that I wanted to do. Something that made me happy.

No, I am still not where I want to be, but I am much, much closer. And I have something I did not have before....Momentum. I was done begging the world for something to believe in . The reality is, I had it all along...
"So give me something to believe,
cause I am living just to breath.
And I need something more,
to keep on breathing for.
So give me something to believe."

The image above is a drawing I did after the Hill Monsters came into realization in my mind. He is unfinished, I plan to incorporate him into a larger painting. For now though, he always reminds me.

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