I took a break.
I took and gave. I broke and rested. I thought and wrote and listened.
All this summer I have been inspired and I am very grateful for it. Now, Septemberwise, I am excited about the directions my writing is taking. These hotter months have been a good chance to reflect and to see things in new ways, out of regular routines. Today the children are home, creating games, narratives and mess, but on Monday they return to school. It will be a good new year. I know what I want to achieve and am keen to protect my writing and thinking time to achieve it.I have been yearning for these days for some time. The inspiration of the summer has followed months of notes and thoughts and helped to consolidate ideas.
How is one inspired?
For me, travel features highly. Visiting my sister in Canada and seeing new places with her and my family was wonderful. Listening to others’ stories and forgetting my own.
Reading is pivotal too. I picked up a book written in the voice of a First Nations elder. It tells her stories in her own words. A fascinating read, not only as it’s transcribed and translated from an oral narrative, but also because of the details describing life for indigenous people working through the seasons without the advantages of modern technology. Stories of traditions, ways of living and understandings of the world around them. It connects well with what I want to achieve and I am enjoying reading it.
Another valuable form of true escapism is watching films which take me well out of my usual comfort zones. This week I watched Abbas Kiarostami’s The Wind Will Carry Us. Set in a village in Kurdish Iran, the film is enigmatically symbolic, leaving the viewer wondering whether they fully understood it. Themes of life, death and the routes between – which are never straight – are explored. The beautiful location, the timelessness of the villagers and the social nuances are wonderful. People in my country do not talk so readily to others they do not know, ask strangers for milk or return to work the day after having their (tenth) baby. Although it is in subtitles and the plot is initially confusing to a western mindset, if you like travel, symbolism and abstract thought you may find this as inspiring as I did.
This break is over; the children are arguing. Perhaps I need the rhythms of tension to start up again, to take the inspirations of the summer and turn them into words.