When confronted with my own lame excuse for not writing a Listen to Life today—“I was not inspired”—I coped with the guilt and figured it didn’t make a difference anyway. I guess I was waiting for thunder-and-lightning-and-quaking inspiration, or even that subtle kind that is moving. Nothing. Oh well.
Then I recalled a quote by Jack London. Something about chasing inspiration with a club. The quotation is actually, ““You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” So, I sought out my club (couldn’t find one), and then settled back to the keyboard. Inspiration is that way, sometimes. Even when you know what to do, you can’t find the tools to get it done; however, the process of trying can lead to something valuable. For me, it was more Jack London.
“I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”
I enjoyed Jack London as a kid (reading Call of the Wild and White Fang), and then re-found him with short stories and his autobiographical fiction Martin Eden when I was a midlife adult. His was a life of struggles and sacrifices, but he certainly did not merely exist.
In the search for the club with which to pursue inspiration, I found the reminder that the answer is in living the brilliant blaze. The way you live life provides you access to inspiration; the club is actually the way in which you live…no matter what inspiration you seek.