You’ve probably seen pictures — either a painting, sketch or photograph — that reminds you of something you’ve read, like this one reminded me of Robert Frost. Here is the beginning of the poem, the one I live by, the picture brought to mind.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
Being one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
I’m not sure if there are two paths, and it isn’t a yellow wood, yet it reminded me of the poem.
You have probably know of contests with a word(s) or picture as a prompt. Writer’s Digest uses them monthly and they are good to keep the old creative juices flowing. There is one that posts on Facebook. I’ve shared it on my new book promotion site at Novels, Novellas, Ebooks & Children’s Literature.
Occasionally there are the rare instances when I come across a beautiful photograph on my tumblr site, Menagerie, that inspires. Don’t get me wrong, I come across such beautiful pictures all the time on that site. It’s apparently best suited for them. Great colorful renditions of birds, up close or in flight, breathtaking landscapes and great vistas that make me stop to catch my breath. The ones I’m talking about have something unique, something that sparks the creator inside and brings out words, a few or many, in a way I don’t often express. It may not be first-class, but it’s mine. My heart was touched. And it’s from the soul…the spirit of empathy and love that shares the moment transforming the vision I see. From the picture or photograph’s two-dimensional state it again becomes alive in my mind’s eye. I can envision the very moment the artist or photographer’s action froze it in time.
If it hasn’t happened to you yet it may be something to try, or at least, be aware of so when the moment comes with the right picture you will recognize it and allow it to flow.
Here are a few photos with my inspired words I’d like to share. When looking back for them I realized last October was a rather prolific month for me (and I’d thought I wasn’t writing during that time). Where available I’ve given the photographer, or at least the contact from which the picture came. I’m sorry they can’t be larger for the full affect of their inspiration, especially the one with the night sky filled with stars:
And the kitten sat there long moments, poised in the stillness of its straight posture, looking up, frozen by the rapture of the boy’s musical tones, tapping heel, moving fingers and slightly swaying head. His eyes were closed, but hers were not. She could see it all and it was magic, she was sure of it, because she could not move nor utter a sound to disturb it.
It was soft, coming from afar. He listened intently, knowing the call of his mate, how he missed her. There, her tiny silhouette, posed singing her lonesome song to the first morning rays streaking the grey sky. He knew only one thing to do until they could be together again. He gathered his voice. He would sing his longing to break the distance between them. She would hear, her loneliness abated. He would travel on, the lack of sustenance for their pups kept to himself until they met. Maybe he would yet be successful.
Empty chairs and empty cares
My concern o’er trifles gone.
No longer will I worry for
The heart without a song.
Ended then or ended now
It matters not to me
For heaven is a hallow place
A gaze my eyes can see.
(this photographer was very happy the photo inspired a short poem)
Peering through the darkness, a wonder I did see
But nature’s own cathedral peering back at me.
When hearts are distant and unforgiving
Anguish lurks the soul
For none can hurt so deeply as a heart
Grown hard and cold.
There are occasionally those photographs that are just a beauty to behold and no words can describe.
For some vistas there can be no words, just sighs…and sometimes, tears
Some pictures are art and worthy of a long look because of the connection to life they give us.
In the rare moment a picture might not let you go. It will keep you until some part of the story it illicits is complete. The portion below for the cottage with the blue slate roof is a slightly edited version of what I wrote initially, but I have been given a wonderful gift and this is the inspiration to compliment it. I found a photograph I wanted to use for a book cover picture, but after contacting the photographer I decided on another. Once the photographer and I communicated I was given the use of the photograph for a book cover for the small price of 3-4 copies of the book. I won’t post that photograph until it’s a book cover, so suffice it to say, and for you to keep in mind, its a beautiful little girl kissing the muzzle of her white horse.
Now for a story…
I remembered this posted on my tumblr site with the idea of a story, and just the kind I wanted to tell. It might take a while to complete, but the seed from last October will bear fruit sometime this year. It’s an opportunity I can’t allow to pass for too long. Immediately upon reading the paragraphs I’d posted it began to grow.
There was the stone house at the turn in the road. Its slate roof so blue it stood out against the greenery of the forest trying to hide it. Ivy caressed its outer walls and the ends of dusty curtains fluttered outside over the window ledge.
A path lead to the big pond, an open expand of clear crystal-blue hidden in a surround of thick trees and undergrowth. It felt the same secret magical place I visited as a child. A whiff of granny’s biscuits, pies and cookies filled the air. She loved to bake for us. And we loved devouring all her goodies. She’d laugh, thrilled to watch us as much as we enjoyed eating. We were allowed to break all the etiquette rules there, using our fingers, stuffing the great chunks of wild apple, grapes and berries from the pies into our overstuffed mouths, giggling. It was so much fun. Yeah, those were the days. I have always cherished time spent in that magical forest, especially after I saw…well, what I saw I now doubt could be true, but it has to be. It just has to be.
It was like a tiny white fawn, no bigger than a minute. It looked like a fawn, barely creeping through the forest floor on its stilt-like legs. When it saw me its eyes got…just…so big. I wanted desperately to touch it. It didn’t look real…almost iridescent against the shadows. Turning it scampered the best it could. I followed, Indian-like, and hid when I saw it duck into the undergrowth between some trees. It was still panting, its tiny sides puffing in and out from fear and its struggle, when its mama stepped up to check. She wasn’t big enough to be a doe, and all white. But her horn told me something was there that wasn’t supposed to be there. It was a unicorn, sure as I’m standing here telling you. A real live unicorn. Beautiful. Last thing I remember was it turning to look at me. When I woke up it was gone, but all the signs showed it’d been there. I won’t ever forget. ***
Now, this is to become a story of magic and unicorns who can make little girls’ wishes come true. The great gift of the cover photograph will be honored with a story of wonder to delight the photographer’s niece who modeled for it. Sometimes photographs can inspire more than a few words, but a new world where other life is born. We are gods, we creators of visions through words and pictures. And we should feel the awesomeness of the task as the gift it was meant to be.
Well, there you have it. Pictures of inspiration. If you visit my Menagerie site, once it’s pulled up look at the address bar and change the page number to 755. It should get you in the vicinity of these postings. You may have to “go forth” or “wander back” to find them, but it’d only be within a few pages. As I add to page one the number of the page they’re on will change. I hope you enjoy them in that setting and full size most flattering to their beauty and inspirational value.
The multitudes of wannabes and fly by nights we have in the publishing fields at this time will find a niche or vanish. We creators will remain finally unmolested by those who find our field fascinating and lucrative. We can survive this onslaught, this invasion of our territory, our well known lands, if we keep at the craft. Then creators we must be and something else — writers, the real writers who can be called Author. It should humble us, but the pride we feel deep inside for being good at what we do will give us the glow to keep that soul in us alive that finds wonder in a photograph, inspiring us with a picture.
- The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost (lovebalancemind.wordpress.com)
- Capture the Moment (popcultureucsd.wordpress.com)
- WOA: Inspirations of Photography! (webofadam.com)
- Picture it and Write (ermiliablog.wordpress.com)