Fresh Thoughts

Uncomfortably Numb
The Interactive Newsletter You Never Asked For

Fresh Thoughts

A person needs new experiences. They jar something deep inside, allowing him to grow. Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken!
—from the movie, Dune

Writing this so-called “interactive newsletter” has certainly been a new experience. I’ve got to extend my thanks once again, dear reader, for helping me tap into the resources to continue this endeavor. Sometimes, gathering the words to shape and shade and share these thoughts is a monumental challenge. Where some thoughts come from is literally a matter of conjecture, but I figure the least likely explanation is that I’m an isolated fountain of wisdom.

Homer, in The Iliad (c. 700 BC), sounds like he agrees:

Enlighten me, O Muses, tenants of Olympian homes,
For you are goddesses, inside on everything, know everything,
But we mortals hear only the news, and know nothing at all.

One of our readers, Debi Sekerak, has twice now anticipated some topic in a developing issue of UnNumb. First, it was unconditional love. This time, it’s the question of inspiration: where does it originate? In his science fiction novel, Hyperion, Dan Simmons weighs in on this same topic:

When one is writing—really writing—it is as if one is given a fatline to the gods. No true poet has been able to explain the exhilaration one feels when the mind has become an instrument as surely as does the pen or thought processor, ordering and expressing the revelations flowing in from somewhere else.

That’s not to say we’re incapable of original thought, it’s just that moments of inspiration are inherently mysterious (or at least they are to me). The archaic definition of inspire is:

To breathe upon. To breathe life into.

It’s root word, spirare, is:

a Latin word of unknown origin, with its derivative spiritus, breath, breath of a god, inspiration: SPIRIT… CONSPIRE… INSPIRE… TRANSPIRE.

I once heard Jackson Browne answer the question of where he gets his ideas with something like:

Sometimes a song almost writes itself. When it’s finished, I sit back and try to figure out what it means.

For me, when writing, it’s not so much the words as the thoughts that seem to surface of their own accord. And, of course, there’s the matter of how things continue to just happen to happen. I think there’s a silent song that beckons us to rise. I think the composer intended us to discover how to respond to its serene melody, embracing “coincidence,” our partner, in this wondrous dance of life.


<<< Mechanisms | Breathe Deeply >>>

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