A toss of the hair, a gesture with the chin, a purse of the lips – these will suffice to change a person utterly from one thing to the other. From a shy, timid, slightly awkward person will emerge an attitude, a style, a replica of the actor onscreen. Confidence has nothing to do with it at that point – once someone changes, they’re in the moment and no matter what happens, the attitude will remain, the stance will stay upright and the chin raised.
Such small things, such subtle mind-shifts and twists – on such things hangs the balance of a show. But once a person is out of self, succumbing to that infamous of Greek gods, Dionysus, and loses the identity of the self, then there is no pause, no doubt, no fear. Nonexistent wine gives the head its buzz and the body its confidence; nonexistent masks take over the face and expression; nonexistent muses come and spark drama or comedy at the needed times.
Being other is liberating. The fear before succumbing to that loss of self is overwhelming, almost paralyzing. The moment the threshold is crossed, however, the fear evaporates like a magician’s rabbit – instantly, utterly, although still biding its time somewhere hidden where the audience can’t see it.
Being other is mastering fear. Being other is being free.
It hasn’t sunk in. It doesn’t feel real. It feels like a vacation, not like the beginning of a new life. It feels like a temporary jaunt, not like the prologue to the newest chapter of my life.
The city is enormous and Manhattan is only one small, accessible bit of it, but it’s the only bit I’ll get to know in my few days before moving into my new living space – THE DORM.
Manhattan is an endless stream of humanity, constantly coming and going. It makes me think like The Little Prince – I see the people going one way and then see the people coming back and I wonder: weren’t they happy where they were? Then the inevitable answer: no one is happy where they were. I hope it will be different for me, though.
I wish I were an ant, part of the endless anthill, knowing my place and my responsibility and the way I fit into the grand scheme of things. Instead, I’m simply another conscious human, acting half by instinct and half by intellect, trying to find my way and my place.
It’s a beginning. I’m here.
What to do when my muse has fled?
Why, I could sit here on my bed
And I could then begin to dread
That she has forever left my head.
My muse is a fickle thing,
She doesn’t call, she doesn’t ring.
On a whim she’ll come and bring
Me an idea of car or king.
But then she leaves and I’m bereft,
My hands- with keyboard deft,
Almost willing to commit literary theft,
For without my muse, what have I left?
But then again, there is no muse,
It’s all a sham, it’s all a ruse,
‘O Mind, you’re cruel!’ I accuse,
‘To give me an idea, you refuse!’
And so it goes once in a while,
And thus these poems, so infantile,
Are born of frustration and denial
With a brain, just now infertile!
Inspiration can come from anywhere. It can come from the way a cloud moves across the sky, reminding you of a puppy chasing it’s mother through the sky, trying to catch up with her. It can come from the way your morning cup of coffee smells, the rich and heady aroma of it rising into your nose and awakening your senses. It can come from the old man you saw on the street who was struggling with his shopping bags and grumbling under his breath about the youth of today.
Inspiration can come from your favorite books, movies, radio-shows and music. You can copy and steal from every written word ever published without anyone being the wiser, because on the way to your finished work you changed everything you meant to steal. Your inspiration can carry you past plain copy-and-paste into the land of borrowing from lyrics, ideas, symbols, and generalized characters. You can decide to copy the tale of Aladdin’s Lamp and end up writing about fog in San-Francisco – and even then you might be positive you stole the whole thing.
Inspiration can be slippery. It can hit you when you’re in the middle of a conversation, when you’re driving, when you’re about to fall asleep – as a result, you’ll lose the ideas, and kick yourself for it. It can also strike you just when the pen is in your hand or your hands are hovering over the keyboard.
Inspiration can be a bitch, and desert you for days at a time.