Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Brush with Inspiration

"To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

That was all I needed and I held on to those moments of preciousness. It did linger on for what seemed like an hour. I carried it with me - this sudden impact of the mind - even after I had left the train, where I saw this stanza on a poster. I held those words, repeating them over and over again in my mind's eye lest they dissipate. I felt them and tasted them even as I walked into unknown faces and crowds. Time felt like it had stopped for me amidst the hustle and bustle of the morning commute. All I could see in my mind's eye was the kaleidoscope into a different world. It was bringing back flashbacks from my very own auguries of innocence. I did remember seeing the world in a grain of sand. It was ethereal. I could almost smell a wild flower and as I held on to the endless resonance of those notions and words in the palm of my hand, I walked in slow motion to my destination, heavy with a feeling of knowing but more so of inspiration.

"A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.
A dove-house filled with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell through all its regions."

I had to look up William's Blake "Auguries of Innocence" to read the rest of the poem. It was the first four lines that drew me in and all I could find myself doing was to echo their effects in my head over and again. Analogy has a strong role to play here. Words that spoke to me persuaded a latent freedom. Free-spirited acknowledgement gained momentum and now the possibilities were endless.

"A dog starved at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.
A horse misused upon the road
Call to heaven for human blood."

"The wild deer wandering here and there
Keeps the human soul from care."

"He shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be beloved by men."

"The wanton boy who kills the fly
Shall feel the spider's enmity."

"A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.
It is right it should be so:
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know
Through the world we safely go.
Joy and woe are woven fine
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine."

"He who mocks the infant's faith
Shall be mocked in age and death."

"He who doubts from what he sees
Will never believe, do what you please.
If the sun and moon should doubt,
They'd immediately go out.
To be in passion you good may do,
But no good if a passion is in you."

It is mother's day today. If it were not for my mother I would not have cultivated the breadth of mind to be inspired by words such as these. Imagination might be a dangerous thing for some but creativity cannot thrive without it. Paying attention to the world around us and noticing what many take for granted was only possible by having my mother in my life. Happy Mother's Day to all mothers and to my most special one in the whole wide world.

*dedicated to my mother