This summer so far has brought a lot of opportunities and situations that allow for inspiration. But apparently not inspiring enough to finish a blog post. Or a poem. Or a thought. My phone is filled with notes, ideas and phrases that have inspired me. Scraps of paper are floating around my purse with half written lines of poetry and incomplete thoughts. Fun fact- when I first started sharing my poetry, I shared it under the name ‘Paper Bag Poet’ because most of my thoughts were written on discarded envelopes, the backs of receipts and scraps of every type of trashed paper (it’s nice to see not much has changed).
Recently, we had the opportunity to join a friend on a spontaneous road trip. We ended up south of Rosetown and got to spend some time at Clearwater Lake. We visited the town of Kyle and were pleasantly surprised to show up just in time for the Town of Kyle’s 60th Birthday celebration. We went garage saleing in farmyards. We travelled to Smiley, SK to view the ‘Great Wall of Saskatchewan’. We ate lunch at the White Bear hotel (where I promptly tried to bribe the waitress into letting me buy the establishment). It was fabulous. There was so much to inspire!
I sat in the backseat for most of the trip, furiously writing notes in my phone. I battled car sickness, throwing my thoughts into something tangible as we dodged pot holes and raced thunderstorms. What a treat to travel and focus on writing! Being a back-seat passenger has many perks. Not only can you FULLY back seat drive (back seat driving just isn’t the same sitting in the passenger seat, am I right?) but it allows a freedom you aren’t privy to when you’re travelling alone or when you act as a road trip buddy in a duo. Usually someone must navigate or take turns driving.
It’s always interesting to think about how people’s creative processes work. My phone is a tool that has become my best friend. Recently my phone crashed, and though my photos and files were easily backed up, the worker at the phone store was baffled at my panic to find and restore all my notes. Thoughts are first stored on my phone and then fleshed out into something bigger. I find that poetry is better written long hand. It’s slower and it allows for better articulation. The editing is easier—because even if you’ve shifted a line, you can see where you came from. It’s a lot like a math teacher insisting you show your work when working out a problem. In contrast, blog posts make way more sense to write on the computer. No way is there time to get all these sentences written out by hand and then typed up—we are in 2019 after all!
Della recently asked me about a project we’ve been working on and I jokingly told her I haven’t worked on it because I haven’t been inspired. But really, the fact is that I haven’t made the time. It’s not about inspiration—there are always things to inspire and I think the notes on my phone and the random scraps of paper are a testament of that. There’s a balancing act between living in the moment, and enjoying the moment, versus thinking about ways to share what you’ve been witness to on your adventures.
Wherever you are this summer, whatever you are up to, we hope you are finding inspiration. Find something small to add to your “happy list”, even if it is just that you got to ride in the backseat and write. Happy travelling!