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BG 229 – Inspiration

As a writer (and also as an artist, designer and maker) you are often asked:
‘Where do you get your inspiration from?’ or ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’
As if there is some obscure website, a hidden beach, or an inconspicuous supermarket where you can ‘get’ inspiration and ideas.

At first, I was puzzled by such questions.
What do you mean, where do I get my inspiration from? It just IS there and has always been there. Isn’t that the case with other people, then? For as long as I can remember, my (un)consciousness has been filled with all kinds of creative ideas that demand to be worked out at some point, for example into a short story, an essay, or a poem. I don’t have to ‘get’ my inspiration somewhere.

I think writers are mostly perceptive people, who read a lot and who are interested in a lot of things. Who use their senses well and take in a lot of the world around them. Who see the humor or, for example, the wonder in small events that other people barely pay attention to. Who live consciously and who love language. And because I don’t have a very good memory, I regularly make a note about something I think I might want to write about one day. Or I come across a web page about a topic that I ‘want to do something with someday’ and …

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BG 136 – Music and Time

One of the reasons we humans love music so much is that it gives us a grip on time. The time that often makes us feel powerless, by flying by relentlessly. We grasp it with music, connect it to tones, to rhythms and to melodies. We give structure to time and arrange it so that we can enjoy it. The basis of music is usually a fundamental rhythm, much like our heartbeat, or, on a grander scale, the coming and going of hours, days and seasons. That rhythm, that variable beat, dictates the tempo and keeps track of time for us. Precisely because life is so fleeting, we naturally like patterns and repetitions, recognizable rhythms and arrangements and unexpected deviations from them. Music influences our heartbeat and triggers emotions in us. We can influence our perception of time with the help of music and shape it to our own pleasure. And, unlike clock time, which is already behind us before we are aware of it, we can experience music over and over again whenever we want.