There Are So Many Ways Inspiration Can Hit You

But I never thought about this one.

Design by Mynah Marie.

by Mynah Marie

If you’d like to hear the song this story is about, you can listen to it here.

When it comes to creativity, I don’t let myself believe too much in divine intervention. At least, not as a baseline for my life as an artist.

Sometimes, I think to myself that creativity might just be the ability to drag ourselves out of our invisible box and gather the courage to try new things — to go on adventures, to let go of our need for comfort, all that stuff. Maybe our only job as artists is to learn how to become emotional acrobats, jumping in and out of the unknown like superhero vigilantes inside the board game of Life, and see where that leads us.

Bottom line is, as a personal guideline, I prefer to think creativity comes from hard work, on ourselves, and on our Art. But I admit, there were times when inspiration came to me in a way that baffles me to this day.

The strongest experience I had of such divine intervention happened in 2009, while I was living in southern Israel, in the most magical house I ever had the chance to rent. It wasn’t a fancy house, by any means, but it seemed pulled straight out of Lord Of The Rings.

The house was in a small agricultural town, near the entry of the desert, not too far from the city of Be’er Sheva. It was surrounded by fields and open spaces, with no close neighbors. The main structure was made of mud and sculpted in a circular shape. The outside walls were engraved with pieces of shiny metals and ceramics, creating colorful mosaic swirls and mandalas.

The entrance was a big wooden door that seemed taken directly from an ancient tree. It opened to reveal a round Bedouin-style living room. Next to the entrance was a fireplace carved in mud within the wall.

I loved sitting on mattresses on the floor in my living room, with lots of cushions around me, playing guitar or writing. During the winter, on the stormy nights when the desert wind roared, I enjoyed snuggling up on my sheepskin with a blanket by the fire and hanging out with my cat Boobie and my dog Santo.

Maybe our only job as artists is to learn how to become emotional acrobats, jumping in and out of the unknown like superhero vigilantes inside the board game of Life, and see where that leads us.

On one side of the living room was the kitchen where my old upright piano stood. On the other side was a narrow make-shift corridor made of plastic tarps and blankets leading to the entrance of a native American-style tee-pee. That’s where I slept.

My bed was right at the center of the tee-pee, surrounded by a mosquito net. All around were different kinds of hand-crafted dreamcatchers and large feathers hanging from the wooden poles holding the tee-pee together. It was lit only by a small night lamp and some candles, since during the day, its fabric would let sunlight sip through, giving the inside a warm glow and transforming its walls into a shadow theatre.

I felt like a Forest Princess sleeping in that tee-pee, waking up every morning to the sound of nature’s chatter while seeing the shadow of trees with their leaves swayed by the wind, and of birds hopping around and flying from branch to branch. Every morning, this sight filled me with joy and a sense of awe that put a smile on my face, no matter what I was going through.

Because, even though I was living in my personal definition of paradise, not everything was all butterflies and rainbows. I had my struggles. At that specific moment in time, I was in a relationship with a married man. Typical. But being in my late twenties, I wanted so much to believe I was special, that we were special, that we weren’t like everyone else and our story would turn out differently from all the other stories of affairs and mistresses everyone told. I was the “love conquers all” type of person, you get the picture.

For months, even though I’d still wake up delighted, that feeling would soon be replaced by a heavy sensation in my chest preventing me from breathing and sending me into panic attacks. The only thing that helped me breathe was to sing, so I sang. When I found myself pacing inside my house like a rat in a cage with my imagination running wild on worst-case scenarios, I’d call a friend and cry on the phone. If only I could run away from myself, but there was nowhere to run. There was only my heart in my chest hurting so bad, I just wanted to give up and die.

It was on one of these painful days that my landlord, who was also my nearest neighbor, knocked at my door.

“Tonight, I’m sending special visitors to your home.”

“What are you talking about? What kind of visitors?”

Few people got along with my landlord because of her hot temper, but in our case, we connected and became friends quickly. She was a singer and a musician, like me, and was involved in a few New Age communities where they explored sound healing and organized singing circles. That she felt ok with walking up to my front door and telling me something like this wasn’t out of character. But like I said, it was one of those days and I wasn’t so open to the idea of having unexpected visitors in the evening.

“A friend of mine came to visit me yesterday… Listen, I know it’s going to sound weird but… she invited Angels into my house. She said the Angels will stay with me for twenty-four hours and then, I need to send them off to someone else, otherwise, they will leave the Earth.”

To me, this sounded like a bunch of nonsense. I mean, angels? Really? I stood there for a moment thinking about what to reply. I didn’t see a way out of my depression and I figured I didn’t have anything to lose by humoring my landlord by trying her weird experiment. Thinking to myself “Oh, what the hell…”, I accepted to receive the Angels in the evening.

“So right after sunset,” she went on, “you need to open your front door and say ‘Angels, I welcome you into my home!’ It’s good if you prepare a plate with some food offerings for them and leave it on the table. Maybe light a candle or something. After inviting them in, you can present them with the offerings.”

I won’t lie, I thought she’d gone momentarily insane. The whole thing just seemed so strange and irrational. But I repeated to myself, “Why the hell not…” and decided to just play along. “It’ll distract me from the pain”, I thought.

I went on with my day, and soon enough, sunset came. I gathered a few sweet things on a pretty little ceramic plate — a cookie, some dried fruits, a few candies — lit a candle on the coffee table in my living room, and placed there the food offerings. Then, I walked to my front door. After questioning my mental sanity one last time, and feeling the weight of sarcastic invisible eyes watching me and ready to burst out laughing at my act, I took a deep breath and opened it.

It was a still desert night. No wind and no sound besides the crowing of birds and the frustrated cries of a neighbor’s donkey, tied up in the distance. I looked straight in front of me and said: “Hello Angels! I welcome you into my home, you can come in!”

At that moment — and I’ll swear by any god you want that this is true — I felt a warm gush of wind sweep over me and enter the house. I stood there for a few seconds, stumped. But then, the feeling of surprise morphed into a deep and blissful feeling of pure joy.

It was a joy like I only experienced a handful of times before. The kind of joy that takes you when you see the birth of a living being, or when you have a deep spiritual experience. A feeling so pure, so beautiful, that it made all the sadness and depression disappear in an instant, as if sadness was now something inconceivable and gone from this world.

I closed the front door and went back inside. I stood in the middle of my living room for a few seconds and realized, at that moment, I was not alone anymore. I could sense the presence of three different beings.

I couldn’t see them, but I could feel their movements in the form of a very subtle breeze. My intuition was telling me one of them, the oldest one, was male and the other two were younger and female.

So I did what anyone would do when they have guests in their home; I started talking to them. I gave them a tour of the house and I showed them the food offerings I prepared for them. Then, I told them random stuff about myself — what I was feeling, what I was going through — and I shared my joy of being with them and how honored I felt to have them here.

I spent the evening working around the house, singing songs at my piano, and writing in my journal. For the first time in weeks, the pain in my chest was gone. No more dark clouds obscuring my soul. I felt happy. Then, around midnight, I said goodnight to my new friends and went inside my royal tee-pee for a peaceful Forest Princess sleep.

I had no idea what an incredible gift the Angels would bestow upon me the next morning.

It was a joy like I only experienced a handful of times before. The kind of joy that takes you when you see the birth of a living being, or when you have a deep spiritual experience. A feeling so pure, so beautiful, that it made all the sadness and depression disappear in an instant, as if sadness was now something inconceivable and gone from this world.

I woke up around 8 am, as usual. I made coffee and sat in my living room for some quiet morning time. My guitar was next to me, where I usually leave it, in case I felt inspired to pick it up and play.

While drinking my morning coffee, I heard a melody in my head. It was simple, yet very beautiful. Nothing catchy, like a pop song or anything like that, more like a melody that could fit a long poem.

Then, a few seconds later, words appeared, as if someone was talking to me telepathically. I could hear and remember everything they were saying.

I reached out for my notebook and started writing. The words I heard in my head poured out of me and onto the page. I didn’t stop for a second to think about what could come next, I just put pen to paper and started writing pages and pages of lyrics.

Fifteen minutes later, I was done. I picked up the guitar and started singing; words and melody came together effortlessly. I called the song “The Forest” and its message was precisely what I needed to hear at that point in my life.

The song is about finding your way back to what’s really important — the voice in your heart — and learning how to listen to that voice again. The dream-like forest is this place inside ourselves where we can stop, sit still, and listen.

“Sitting in the middle of my own dream-like forest, listening to the song that has been sung all along… Just waiting for me to hear its calling but I was busy searching for a way out of myself, and hitting always the same limits as I traveled further on, as I traveled further on…

Back to the center, it makes me wonder ‘Wasn’t it obvious?’ It makes me wonder, it makes me wonder ‘Wasn’t it obvious?’

Where have I been? Where have I been? In which crossroad did I lose my way? Where have I been? Where have I been? I don’t remember the last time I looked into my eyes…” — Extract of “The Forest”

I honestly don’t know how I created this song.

The only way I can explain it is by saying it was a gift from the Angels. They gave me this song after listening to me confiding in them. It was their way of thanking me for welcoming them into my home, for letting go of my doubts and giving this crazy idea a chance, even if I was skeptical at first. This is, honestly, the most rational explanation I have for the way this song came to life.

Its message helped me find my way back to myself in those dark moments. For me, this song was medicine.

After playing it for the first time in my living room that morning, I cried tears of gratitude. I thanked the Angels over and over again. They stayed with me through the day and, once sunset came, it was time for them to leave. They had other souls to attend to.

So I sent them off into the night, thanking them for their presence and their incredible gift. I’ll never forget that night; the night I felt truly touched by divine intervention and received not only healing but also something I can share with the world.

I still sing this song to this day. It inspired me for years, and I created different versions of it. It’s one of my favorite songs I ever wrote, even though, somehow, I feel I can’t take all the credit for it.

You can listen to my latest version of “The Forest” here.

If you like what you hear, consider subscribing to me on Current.fm where I post new music regularly.

Writer, musician, and programmer. I write personal essays about life experiences, creativity, and technology. Visit me at www.earthtoabigail.com

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