I found inspiration while sitting with the dead. Their buried bodies beckoned me to join them and write. The dead don’t impede while one is trying to concentrate. They lie idly by, allowing masterpieces to blossom. No comments, no critiques, no interrupting questions. The dead provide a quiet, nurturing atmosphere.
Today is warm and sunny as I aimlessly drive through Bucks County–going nowhere and anywhere. The act of writing, at this point, has left me. It’s as though the spark that makes up my inner most self–my soul–has abandoned me on this blue-green, wayward planet. The words no longer come, and I am anxious and agitated. My life’s purpose has disappeared, leaving me empty and lost.
A small cemetery comes into view while traveling down a desolate, pothole riddled road with no dividing yellow line. Something inside of my mind whispers to stop. Instinctively my body takes control and steers the car off into the megar gravel parking lot. Without a thought as to what was occurring, I exit the car and walk to the grass covered plots.
The landscape is speckled with headstones, which are old and hand hewn. Green lichens and mold cling to the cool white stone. Some markers stand as clean slates, the body’s identity wiped away by the hands of the weather and time. This cemetery is ancient. The dead have been here for many centuries.
It is well cared for, this small cemetery. The grass is low and the surrounding trees are maintained. It is picturesque. Somebody truly loves it, devoting their time to care for the hallowed ground that houses these long dead people.
Sun filters through the trees creating little pockets of light among the shadowed darkness. All is quiet and serene. The only sound of life comes from the birds in the trees and from my own breathing. Here in this land of the dead, a solace for the boundary of time, I find peace. A peace that is limited by mortality. A peace of knowing there is only one chance to achieve dreams.
And then they come to me, pounding into my head. Reverberations and echos drown out the natural sounds of the cemetery. Words. They fill my brain and suddenly I find them spewing from my mouth. I speak out loud stories–stories of my own creation–and they fall upon dead ears. Quick! A pen, some paper! I hastily run to a sunny spot shining amongst the graves, fall to the ground, and pull my pen and moleskine from my purse. In handwriting, illegible to anyone ‘s eyes but my own, I fill up a page. Then another. And another. So on and so, the lined white pages of the notebook fill with loops and curls, all the while I sit in a fevered trance surrounded by the dead.
They watch me, quietly and uninterrupting. This living being sitting atop their graves spilling words from her brain onto paper. She has found herself while sitting among them. But what will come of it? The answer is unknown, but the dam has broken. A flood is unleashed and the world once again seems brighter, happier. There is a future.
The dead speak of these things to the living. This life is unique and should be cherished. It is the only time that this instance will be lived. One must find inspiration and take hold of it with both hands. Feel its invigorating life force, for once a life is over, the creativity for that person ceases.
I had to travel to the dead to find my reason to live.