Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Neil Young on inspiration

Last night I saw Neil Young on Charlie Rose. It was an old show; I'm not a big fan of the CR, but this was worth it. Young said that he believes inspiration is a gift, and when you have an idea, you have to stop everything you're doing and work on it for as long as you need to. He carries a notebook with him for this purpose, and said that when he gets an idea, he excuses himself from wherever he is and pursues it. It may take five minutes, he said, it may take two hours. But you have to respect it. It's a gift, you have to take it. The only thing he would make an exception for is family. If a family member needed him, that takes precedence over art.

Now I'm carrying my notebook again. Thinking of you, not just Jesse, but my writer friends who read here. I hope you're all carrying your notebooks, whether it's to write about family, tomatoes, buffalo soldiers, or your private maze. WRITE. I love you all.

This morning I dug up my little red notebook and saw something from my Bali trip: dreams are like stars- they're always there, you just see them best at night.

And I wrote:

You will notice little things
if you look
a tee shirt
not her size
in the back of the closet
tiny shoes
in a drawer
a cupboard of old toys, notebooks, video games, debate plaques, sports trophies, ribbons,
a shelf of law books
slowly slipping
out of date.
Address books of classmates from kindergarten through--in what order
do we let things go
after everything has been lost

I still remember all the names
of his imaginary friends


  1. Thanks for the reminder. I need to do better.

  2. I keep a stenobook with me wherever I go. I'm always writing on the bus, but most of my best ideas come to me just as I'm about to fall asleep.

  3. I'm jotting. Notes, thoughts, ideas. Words, names.



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