Do you ever see those kids on the median of a parkway trying to beat the traffic and make it to the other side? I always cringe and pray that they make it over without becoming road splat.
So, why, oh why, was that the image that came to me when I was trying to picture the experience of being hit by inspiration?
I'll back up a little. I spent a good part of Friday morning talking with my son Michael who lives across the country. Good part in many senses of the word. We so often end up talking art and literature and we we talked for quite a while-- so yeah, a good part of the morning.
He's a musician and a song writer and a lyricist (among his many talents-- I know, I sound like his mother--but so what) so we can discuss all kinds of English Major stuff that other people usually walk away from and find a football game to watch. Naturally, we ended up on the topic of 'where do some of these ideas, words, music come from'? We agree that it is a grace, a gift, a visitation if I may be so bold, and it is wonderful. Some get big doses of this transmission---Mozart, Shakespeare and Willy Nelson come to mind-- but for a more humble recipient of the occasional glimpses of grace that I receive---I am grateful. It is why we keep doing this. Even if our craft never sees publication or more than a little audience, it is still good. Sacraments are the outward sign of God's grace, so I was taught in first grade (thank you, Sr Mary Norbert) so in the small 's' use of sacraments, these moments are sacramental.
Michael and I talked about both the gift end of receiving the grace and the showing up end--that is, you generally have to show up to work in some sense (though not always--that's the nature of gift) to receive those flashes, those sounds, those words and phrase that flow through your fingertips.
And that is where the picture of a kid trying to cross traffic popped to mind. But in this analogy, messy though it is, you hope to get hit--not by a car--but by a slam of words, music, lyrics, art.
Which raises a question. If I am noticing the kid on the median, then somehow he was 'lucky' enough to make it from the other side of the road safely. Hmm, that could fall into another category, not so good, as tempting angels. Got to think about that. Later.