Inspiration struck this evening.
I’m not sure exactly what it was that got the creative juices flowing. I clocked off at 5.30pm, went for a run, cooked dinner (Korean tacos) with my fiancé (Carley), watched my footy team lose, and did the dishes. At some point between filling the rinse aid and stacking the plates, I got the urge to create something. So, I started writing.
Not that I’ve asked everyone I’ve ever met, but I think all of us get this feeling in our own unique way. It’s a sort of sudden mental momentum, or energy – it could almost be described as creative adrenaline. Still, to this day, I’m not 100% sold on where it comes from, if we can control when we feel it, and why it can be so fleeting. But I do have some thoughts on the matter. Bear with me.
For most of my life I’ve leaned pretty heavily on sudden surges in creativity – or lightning strikes – to get me by. See, I used to be a singer/songwriter. And even though I still sing, and I still write songs, I don’t consider myself a singer/songwriter anymore (it’s a long story). But my justification for why I could come up with music and lyrics was that every now and then something in my head just clicks. I feel something, and I write it, or sing it, or move my body a certain way to express it (for transparency’s sake, I’ve always been really bad at the latter).
There have been plenty of times throughout my life when I’ve chalked my creativity up to one of these lightning strikes. Take September 2015, for example. I was ‘living’ (sleeping on a friend’s futon) in New York City, playing open mics and working coat check at Webster Hall. My family were all back home in Australia, I was running out of money, and our family dog had died while I was over there. Not trying to paint too sad a picture for you, but for a while I was going through a bit of a down phase. I missed home, and I had started writing a song for my sister about how, while I was living far away, I felt like I hadn’t been there for her.
The song was half-finished in late September. I was walking up an East Village street as a pile of leaves got swept into the air by an autumn breeze. Lightning struck, and I took out my phone to tap some lines into Notes. All of a sudden I had a bridge for this song:
All at once you’ll see colour
Finally the leaves are letting go
Of the year they’ve seen
Of what they used to be