Inspiration is different to everybody. There are a lot of professional writers out there who say that inspiration is useful but lazy, and that like any job, you need to buckle down and make your own art in the same way you would learn to cook through trial and error. Then, there are others who say that creativity cannot be rushed and it must come to you. Very few creatives out there seem to develop a middle ground whereby they are in-tune with what inspires their art truthfully whilst holding a relationship with them as the artist, looking for ways to enrich this with experience or vision. I find non-autobiographical work the most stylistically sound as it tends not to be influenced by perception but at the same time the most dry and unmoving as it does not speak from a place of experience. After-all expression should move you, to where the artist stands. Adversely a lot of expression for expressions sake is on the rise, which tries to tackle and draw attention to much larger cultural issues on a whole but seems to reinforce it whilst sending a message of defeatism against adversity. Maybe then it is about finding what does move us, as the stimulus not the subject, whilst staying true to the undercurrents of the culture.
I’ve found this experience of mine through old graveyards and tomb stones. I once found myself in a renovated green space in St.Helens which once was full of needles and drug users but became a harshly lit almost Astroturf garden with symmetrical trees on either side. Uncovered though were three large grave stones which lay flat. I remember reading the names among all three and realising the dynamics which the dates suggested: twins, loss, marriage, re-marriage. My mind had already found their lives and as if helped by the gaps between the engraved words, it felt fully formed and transferable.
Since then, taking a walk in old and unknown graveyards has always sparked a strong sense of creation. Cimetière du Père-Lachaise is the largest in Paris, and one of the most famous in the world and was established by Napoleon I in 1804. It is on the outskirts of the city since Cemeteries are banned in central Paris after the closure of Cimetière des Innocents next to Les Halles. I did stumble upon the Tomb of Oscar Wilde and grave of Édith Piaf but did prefer the unvisited anonymous tombs and their immensely timeless beauty. As always, the effect of a cemetery to me is of course one of calm and sanctuary but then one of life and love: Carpe diem and Memento Mori. Something which energises me to leave my mark here through writing.