A Past, Lost & Lively
Sunday, 19 June 2011
If anything in our mundane, austere world of calculable bounds retains a measure of its magic, it must be the germ of human inspiration, polluting entire cortexes with creative desire in winnowing seconds.
I tend to believe Inspiration is a less pragmatic term for Influence––finely applied pressures of being and environment which mould our expectant mind whichever way.
For me, much of that influence comes from childhood; particularly the moments I can’t categorize with rigid memory.
I grew up in Geneva, on a fine lake, and have only the most vague impressions of those moments of my life. Still, whenever I write about architecture, linearity, or order, I find myself in the space of mind which I refer to as “Geneva,” whether or not it shares a realistic counterpoint.
From this spot, which I sometimes inhabit in creative revelries, comes a great deal of Inspiration.
A young artist, whose name escapes me the same as le quai de Mont-Blanc, said to some interviewer: “Really, I could never leave my childhood home and still have massive, inexhaustible amounts of inspiration.”
He dreamt, impractically, of staying inside his house and painting it from every angle, forever.
Anne Lamott said, similarly, “Anyone who’s had a childhood can write forever.”
It’s true, really. Given fifty lifetimes, stretched across whichever plane we chose, the elements of childhood would remain detached, inaccessible, and––ultimately––influential.
With this in mind, I’ve rooted out a book that the directors of our apartment complex––Hotel Mon-Repos––gave us upon our departure. It’s snippets of commentary on Geneva paired with great, blurry pictures of the City.
What it evokes, I cannot tell.