As with most writers I know, I get inspiration from a number of sources. Whether it is a snippet of conversation passing by me or an outfit I never have seen before, there are thousands of things that happen around me daily with several of them working their way into my mental files to be used at some point. It has always been a part of my process to put these things in the files pulling them out when I needed an injection of inspiration.
What about things we cannot escape from though and do not want to be a part of our mental resources? What about the violence that reigns on the evening news or the catastrophic information spewed at us by the media? For most of my life I have managed to allow the information to enter my brain only as far as a passing "Oh that was interesting" or a sadly realized "How terrible I should find a way to help if I can". Last night however I realized just how much it can effect me.
Even though dreams are often more theory that actuality it is amazing how accurate they can be to their true meaning. Often times when we dream what we see is just a representation of our fears an desires. But what happens when it isn't just representative? What if the fear from the dream is caused by something you are genuinely afraid of?
Right now there are two major stories happening in the news. Two convicted killers escaped from prison and are on the loose in New York with a massive manhunt on to catch them. There was also a shooting in a church bible study in South Carolina taking the lives of nine people in a cold and calculated attack of hatred. Both terrible happenings and with hem being talked about day in and day out it is impossible to escape.
Last night as I lay exhausted searching for sleep my mind found this information sitting in the back corner of my brain and showed me in vivid color and detail how afraid of these stories and the men that are being talked about I truly am. I dreamt that I was a victim of a random act of violence put forth by a man that awoke one morning, went on a shooting rampage then was able to shoot me before police finally caught him. It was so real from the fear to the burning pain of the bullets ripping through my skin that When I woke in a puddle of cold sweat the first thing I did was check the spots I had been shot.
From this heart racing emotional nightmare though came my first poem in over a year. I have calmed down quite a bit now but I wrote this post as well as the poem in order to share my feelings in the subject. I am happy I have this outlet for sharing my emotions and makes me believe further that if more people had access to such outlets much of the experienced violence could be avoided.