My husband wrote a poem. He's written several non-rhyming poems mostly before we had our children and I presume when his own self-afflicted courting pressure was stuck on HIGH. He sent the poem to me while we were both at work. He packaged his words in an attachment rather than just typing it within the body of the email which made the process of opening it much like unwrapping a gift. I had to wait to see what it would read. The reason he was inspired to create a poem (which was not about me, by the way) was because he recently discovered the poetic works of Jack Gilbert. The reason he stumbled upon Jack Gilbert's work is because I was in the process of devouring words from another Gilbert. *This is not an exaggeration.* My eyes were gorging themselves on a book entitled BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert. I realized I was reading too fast when I was interrupted on page 125 when my children mentioned that they were hungry. Oh right. Dinner. I looked up from my book meal and glared at the clock like it was it's fault I was supposed to be cooking. I whispered a promise to Big Magic that I would return soon. When I did, I made the decision to read Gilbert's book from the beginning so this time instead of inhaling - I could savor.
I've lost my place.
The reason Jack Gilbert inspired my husband to pick up his poetic pen is because Elizabeth Gilbert - no relation she explains, mentions Jack within the first few pages of BIG MAGIC. I dared my non-book-reading-husband to read the first few pages of Liz's most recent book and not want to eat every page with his eyes. He accepted the challenge and even though he appreciates Elizabeth's talent, he stopped reading her words when he read Jack Gilbert's... "We must risk delight. We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world."
My husband did what almost everyone does when they want to know more. He googled Jack Gilbert. Google didn't fail to deliver, because he read aloud a poem called "Horses at Midnight without a Moon." It was succulent and intoxicating and an endless meadow of imagery.
*Quick Recap - My husband wrote a poem, inspired by Jack Gilbert because I'm reading a book by Elizabeth Gilbert and she quotes Jack in the first few pages of her book Big Magic.*
My husband's poem was about trees. He word-paints the imagery of trees and how they can change before our eyes and we don't seem to notice until the trees can be used for something other than the sheer pleasure of looking at them. It was simple and thought provoking. Once I got over the shock that the poem wasn't about me and that I unwrapped an email attachment about trees and leaves and whatnot, a familiar sing-song melody came to mind. "I think that I shall never see, a poem as lovely as a tree." I knew I had heard it, memorized it even...but the mind was useless to grab it from the recesses of my childhood. I did what almost everyone does when the want to know more or be reminded that their mind is not as reliable as Google. JOYCE KILMER! That's it! "A tree whose hungry mouth is prest against the earth's sweet flowing breast. A tree that looks at God all day, and lifts her leafy arms to pray."
My point is pausing long enough to observe this amazing game the universe plays similar to dominoes. One effect, will cause another effect and so on and so forth. My choice of a new book, caused my husband's reading of another and thereby creating a tree poem of his own. His poem, a gift to me, stirred a memory and I rediscovered Kilmer's poem. When I took the time to see how magical these lovely connections were, I wrote. In summary, you, my precious reader are now a part of this unique creativity stream caused by two different writers with the last name Gilbert. I wonder where their inspiration began?
ALL of us. Every single one of us are part of the crowd wave. The stadium originally wiggling with fans now breathes in a gorgeous ripple of unison. We all rise and settle in our seats then watch how our movement was a part of something bigger. We took our turn then passed it on - We allowed the inspiration of a few, to move through us and then let it go. We relax because we know another swell will come.
We can be inspired, by inspiring others.
Pass it on.