We carry scraps of paper with us wherever we go. In our purses, pockets, and wallets. The receipts, notebooks or envelopes capture the cascade of thoughts before they can escape our psyche and fade into oblivion. They become our sacred scrolls, and chronicle every day life. A bit of chicken scratch could become a novel. Or something even more profound. The solving of a philosophical argument that has been brewing for thousands of years.
Maybe it’s a bit of poetry that strikes us. An errant rain drop, a spider building its web or the sound of a distant train whistle could leave us breathless. Grappling for a cocktail napkin and the bartender’s pen in a crowded bar during Happy Hour on Friday night.
We catch these blips of the mind and put pen to paper. Sometimes, the words that come never cease. What we thought would take us a few moments to pen, takes us hours to complete. By the time we are finished we are shaking with emotion and usually exhausted.
Sometimes, the story can be summed up in a sentence. Or 100 words. It doesn’t really matter the word count though does it? As long as one person is affected by the piece, the effort to catch that thought was worth it.
Inspiration has hit me at a Starbucks. A wedding. A funeral. On my drive home. Hell, even in my car waiting at a toll booth on I-76 while watching a couple argue in the car behind me. I’ve even trapped ideas in the notes app on my iPhone.
I like that the mundane inspires me. And I also dig that first draft of this post was written on the back of my grocery list this morning. I was waiting on my Adam Boy to finish his shift at Starbucks. I heard him bantering with his work mates. It made me smile. And made me write my thoughts down.
About writing. About inspiration. And ultimately about my love of chicken scratch on a scrap of paper.