#writerswednesday: Happy New Year! 2020

© Thorsten Marquardt, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019 – full text at end of post –

My dears,

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

A new decade is lying ahead
and I hope we use it to spread
ideas and inspiration
reflection and some contemplation
breathe it in and smile some more
set the sails and move from shore
into the great wide sea
to grow, become and be
what and who we are meant to be.

It’s exactly collaborations like these that make my heart jump and be even more passionate about art.
There are these moments where you’re having a really nice and interesting conversation and then, when continuing the exchange via email, something great is forming itself.
Thanks to Thorsten Marquardt, who sent me this picture, which gave me – in connection to our conversation – the inspiration for this poem and thanks to his efforts it now looks the way it does, as he put the text around the picture.
I truly appreciate the exchange with others, as I always say
Inspiration through Communication
And this is proof that it works.

Thanks to everyone who worked with me in 2019, who gave me insights, impulses, feedback.
Nothing of it goes unnoticed.

I thank all the people I was allowed to meet on my way and to collaborate with from the depth of my heart.
2019 taught me a lot. About goodbyes and hellos, about exchange, about nurturing, needs vs wants, about people, life and art. And so much more.
Not only do I thank all the people, who made the year so insightful and meaningful as it was, but I also thank the year itself for having been such a good teacher.

To all of you reading this: I wish you all the best for the new year, the new decade, I hope you had time to reflect on the past, be in and enjoy the present and look into the future with a hopeful heart and determined mind.

The sails are set
and I bet
the wind is soon to come
to move ahead and move along
into a wider space
from place to place
and home once more
into the water and back to shore
ever moving
ever growing
as life itself
a water flowing

© Gina Laventura, 2019

© Thorsten Marquardt, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

poetry, passion and perseverance
let us endure the loss of what once
was our home, our harbour, we were safe
the slight remembrance
and subtle memory, we take to our grave
written in our bones, our chest, our breath,
the idea of paradise after death,
the holy land
after the end,
giving hope, but causing pain,
so we write and love again and again,
to go back
but we lose track
and for the apple we reach
although they teach
us to withstand temptation
but in secret contemplation
we are all half sinners, half saints
and the idea of paradise
faints
and lives only in hopes and dreams and memory
and in art we see
what once
was our home, our harbour, we were safe.
persevered through poetry, passion and prose
and from the grave
they rose
into the holy land.
a longing, a dream, a missing
that will barely end.

© Gina Laventura, 2019

#writerswednesday: Inspiration, Muses and Impulses

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#writerswednesday: inspiration, muses and impulses

Hey my dears,

one of the frequently asked questions I get asked is:
“What inspires you?”
or
“Where do you find inspiration in a phase when you’re absolutely not creative?”

Cliché would say: I find inspiration in everything, the world is full of wonders, you just have to open your eyes.

And although there is truth to it, I’m not cliché enough to let it stand like that without any additional information.
Besides that I think it’s time to give credit to those that spark inspiration and help me write.

So, yes, this life, this world offers so much that you can draw inspiration from, starting with a fresh wind in the morning transporting smells to you that set your memory in motion and make you think about an event, a person or a moment of your childhood for instance that you then reflect upon. Your cat jumping elegantly onto the sofa and moving in a dainty way and you observing her to learn. It can be the weather, a flower, the news, something you see, hear, touch, perceive with one or many of your senses.
Yes, the list would get really really long and the human mind is complex enough that probably you yourself won’t be able to trace back each and every spark of inspiration that just lit the lamp in your head, you know.
But sometimes you can determine exactly where the inspiration came from.
And I’d say there are several elements that quite frequently touch upon the creative corners of the mind:
* people
* overheard conversations
* emotions
* surroundings
* social observations

We’ll take it step by step: People

There are people that with their worldview, their attitude, their physical appearance and presence just make you stop whatever you’re doing and draw you into a sphere full of ideas and creativity. You just want to listen, to observe, yes, you want to inhale them, take a bite, devour this energy.
There is this notion that creatives are like vampires that suck out the creative energy from people and their surroundings.
Or these sweaters that state “Careful. You may end up in my novel.” (I always wanted to have one of these tbh, haha)
And it’s not too far off to say that oftentimes we draw inspiration from the encounters we have with other people.
What I don’t like is the idea of vampire in the sense that we take away from another person. We do, kind of, but I personally try to avoid leaving the table empty, so I make sure I bring something myself, that way, an exchange and a fruitful mutually inspiring place is created for both parties.
I’d like to take this moment to express my gratitude towards the people I was allowed to encounter that moved my mind and made me think, feel and explode into creative ecstasy.
I’m grateful and I want you to know that you are special.

Little excursion:
Oftentimes there would be two kinds of people: Those that think that what they bring to the table would never inspire anyone. And those that think they are so inspiring that you should have written a whole book for them already.
Let me tell you something: To those that think they don’t bring enough, when an artist sends you a poem, a text, a picture, they created because of the fire you or the interaction with you ignited, don’t take it as a compliment. Take it as the truth that you are special, inspiring and that you harbour more power within yourself than you probably know.
To those that think they’re giving so many great impulses: When you watch the works of an artist that you encountered, stop trying to read yourself into it and claim it yours, it will only end up in frustration once they tell you that it wasn’t you but someone else who lit that idea. And if you ever inspire an artist, know that this is something special.
I’m sorry to say that, but sometimes this cockiness drives me mad and raises another question: Would you also claim the inspiration for an artwork if it was ugly, rough, hurtful, nasty?
Everybody wants the flowers and the blooming blossoms of beauty, but you know what? Even if you encounter a critical, nasty poem full of pain, that was based on you, it’s an honour, cause you moved their emotions enough to make them write about it.
(I know it sounds weird, but let that just sink in for a moment.)

Back to gratitude: Are there specific people that you can always go to and be sure that you’re gonna go home with new ideas?
Yes and no.
There are people who have the tendency to inspire you again and again. These are the ones I’d call a muse. And I’m more than grateful to have been allowed to meet people like these.
Not many, one specifically, but it’s a precious treasure that I value a lot.
But it wouldn’t make me try to exploit that person for the sheer sake of inspiration.
Either it comes naturally or it doesn’t.
At least that’s my attitude towards it. And it is also connected to valuing and honouring your muse by not squeezing them like a lemon and leaving them empty.

Now, does that mean if some of my close friends don’t inspire me, that I love them less?
Obviously, yes! What are they good for if they don’t lit a lyrical lamp?!
Just kidding, of course the amount of poems I write for, to or about you does say something about our connection, but it doesn’t necessarily say anything about the intensity of love I feel for you or about the love I feel for others.
There are a million reasons and a billion ways to love someone, and yes, it is a special connection you have with your muse, but none of it takes away the love my heart harbours for someone I’ve never written a piece for.
Just like the saying “The beauty of another woman doesn’t take away your own.” or however it goes, it’s the same with inspiration.
So there is no need to compete or to compare yourself and the amount of works someone produced for or about you to the works someone else inspired.
It’s a process set in motion that sometimes the artist themselves can’t describe in every detail. It just is.
Nevertheless, don’t take it for granted, but also, don’t feel bad if there’s is none or just one piece of art you inspired.
This doesn’t mean you have no meaning, and it surely doesn’t mean you’re not loved.

There is this saying that you can learn from anyone, even if it’s only what you don’t want or how you don’t want to be or want to behave.
So, inspiration can be drawn from “positive” encounters, as well as from “negative” encounters.
But often we’d prefer the feel good vibe of the word inspiration than reflecting upon the possibility that even moments and people that don’t makes us feel like cakes and cherry pie can lead to a spark of inspiration. We like this idea of being a positive impulse for our surroundings, and true, it’s nice. But let me tell you something: De Profundis by Oscar Wilde would have never been written, had he not been betrayed and sold by someone he loved and thought of as a partner.
Does this now mean we need to search for struggle and suffering in order to be great artists like Oscar?
Well, we could discuss that and I have many thoughts on this topic, too, but this would rather be dealt with in a separate post or in an additional format.
Would you like to talk about it? Well, my answer is yes.

Now, before this post gets too long, I recommend you join me on my balcony to continue this chat.
I’ll announce when the random rambling and prolific ponder is on.

How about you?
What inspires you? What inspires you in people?
Can you pinpoint it down and put a finger on specific traits, expressions, movements that ignite inspiration in you?

Please let me know in the comment section below.

So long, my dears.

xx

Oceandeep


Photo & Editing: Ralph Wietek

I tried to keep you close to me.
I didn’t succeed, I didn’t succeed.

A thousand seas I would have sailed,
but I failed, I failed.

Tried my best
to protect you from the storm that was raging in my chest,
but my best just wasn’t good enough,
so I gave up, so I gave up.

Now I’m drifting hopelessly alone
remembering the stars that shone
when you were at my side,
hand in hand facing the tide
and dreaming about a million ways,
back in those days, back in those days.

The star you were, it shone so bright
and guided me through every night,
when I think back.
The sky is black, the sky is black.

Now I’m drowning and I’m drifting,
my head barely ever lifting,
I’m longing for you day by day,
I lost my way, I lost my way.

I face the ground of the ocean deep
and when I weep
my tears drop deep into the water’s blue.
I’m missing you, I’m missing you.

Finally, I found a way to soothe my aching heart,
an ending would become a new start.
On the ocean’s ground a fallen star became a gem,
we’ll meet again, we’ll meet again.

Gina Laventura © 2015

#tbt: Commitment and Confession

#tbt; a poem from 2013

We say it too often, we say it too less
we often commit, but never confess,
we think it right, but discover it wrong,
we’re fragile, but we pretend we’re strong
and strong we are indeed
but too proud to say when we’re in need,
too shy, too insecure,
waiting for someone to cure
us.
What’s all this fuss
about?
We scream, we shout
but never let it all out,
we hide away
and never say
what’s ought to be said,
whole life a gambling bet,
pointing our fingers at sins and sinners,
just wondering who’ll be the winner,
but guess what: There’s no one to win and no one to lose,
it’s all about which step you choose.
With every loss you gain something
and probably you lose something each and every time you win.
This is life, it goes up and down,
don’t complain and don’t you frown
at least not too often
cause after every storm the wind will soften
the waves.
We’re stuck in a pace
that’s out of the rhythm, out of the beat,
we ignore the achievements but we see the defeat.
What’s wrong with this world, we are all one
and we should do what needs to be done
to make it a better place,
get out of that unhealthy pace.
Take a look around yourself
and dare to tell
that it’s not beautiful, dare to find an excuse, another one
to explain why things can’t be done.
Don’t you dare to tell
that your life does not deserve the best version of yourself.
We complain too often, we do too less,
we often commit, but never confess.

Gina Laventura © 2013

Ruhr Valley Love

Dieser Beitrag ist auch auf Deutsch verfügbar

I promised a friend of mine to publish this poem after having relaunched my blog.
The background story: She moved away to work in another city. This poem was a farewell gift, so that she wouldn’t forget us.
It is still hanging on the wall in her living room. (in German)

Ruhr Valley Love

We’re breathing vapour,
coal is running through our veins,
life is art,
no time to stop, restart.
Nobody can take our dreams from us,
because where the sun, the moon and the stars gather dust,
deep down in the West
we feel at home, we are at our best.
No matter where we are,
where we stop and where we start,
this will always remain home
at least in our hearts.
The storms we defy
and overcome the pain, although we might cry,
we breast the tide
to see the horizon, oh so wide,
the foam we are restraining,
because where Krupp Steel is framing
the landscape
we know the asphalt, the fields and every escape.
Where the roar of industry echoes in our chests
we feel at home, our souls at rest.
We travel the world, together and alone,
but where there is love, there is home.
Don’t you forget and always know:
Our love is with you, wherever you go.

Gina Laventura © 2013