On Inspiration & The Consequences of Our Actions

My e-conversation with Mike Kaluta continued, fellow fans of art and life, when Michael sent me this quote:

“Einstein said the arrow of time flies in only one direction. Faulkner, being from Mississippi, understood the matter differently. He said the past is never dead; it’s not even past. All of us labor in webs spun long ago before we were born, webs of heredity and environment, of desire and consequence, of history and eternity. Haunted by wrong turns and roads not taken, we pursue images perceived as new but whose provenance dates to the dim dramas of childhood, which are themselves but ripples of consequences echoing down the generations. The quotidian demands of life distract from this resonance of images and events, but some of us feel it always.

And who among us, offered the chance, would not relive the day or hour in which we first knew love, or ecstasy, or made a choice that forever altered our future, negating a life we might have had? Such chances are rarely granted. Memory and grief prove Faulkner right enough, but Einstein knew the finality of action. If I cannot change what I had for lunch yesterday, I certainly cannot unmake a marriage, erase the betrayal of a friend, or board a ship that left port twenty years ago.”

— Greg Iles

That’s a keeper (which I guess is why Michael had it). It discusses a frustration I have that I try not to let dominate my thinking as much as it does (I sure wish I could go back in time or in some other way undo the speeding ticket I just got on Saturday trying to be on time for my San Diego Natural History Museum lecture). It also explains the gigantic popularity that People Search has, which I’ll bet is dominated by guys trying to find old lovers and girlfriends.

I responded to Mike’s quote with another quotation I like, reflecting on related turf (via the liner notes to “Scott 4”, one of my favorite albums by my favorite singer, Scott Walker):

“A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.”
—Albert Camus

As the Cowardly Lion said, “Ain’t it da truth!”

5 Responses to “On Inspiration & The Consequences of Our Actions”

  1. Kami Dolney says:

    Hey Bill, I tried sending you an email with information and images about the Lake Erie Monster label, but it bounced back twice..can you let me know how to get the information over to you? thanks!

  2. Michael S says:

    Hi Bill, was wondering if you could pls email me, it’s about a mutual job.

  3. James Lloyd says:

    Well, it’s all very edifying, but Einstein and Camus can go hang because they can’t paint giant dinosaur imagery like you.
    Hi Bill (if I may refer to you as such), I just wanted to quickly write in and tell you how thrilled I am to have received your Prehistoric Life Murals hardcover, which came in the mail last week. It’s a towering monument to everything that is great about your work. I would have been more than happy with the book itself, but I’m blown away the signed interior art and bookplate that comes courtesy with it.
    Now, I don’t know if I should mention this– ’cause it might have been done ‘specially for me– but I notice you threw in a little something extra (well, a LOT something extra) on top of that… which REALLY made my day. Regardless, I thank you for your generosity and the prompt service. Got it within a week of ordering it, and I’m up here in Canada.
    I can only urge everyone reading this to order their own copy of this remarkable book immediately. Grab that limited edition! It’s worth far more than the asking price.
    Anyways, it’s clear you needn’t dally in any of these fine meditations on age affecting creativity; You are still schooling the rest of us. Congratulations.

    Oh, and say hi to Jerome for me– I saw his note on the package!

  4. James Lloyd says:

    A little clarification about the preceding:
    "Say hi to Jerome"… There was a note for me on the package you sent written by a friend at the post-office here in town. Due to the child-like sentiment and handwriting (and because postal tampering is by-and-large illegal), I thought it was written by one of your family members… a nephew or some such. ‘Jerome’ just let me know about it.
    Mea culpa.
    Everything else about the book I meant.

  5. James Latta says:

    Bill, just thinking of you and Kaluta emailing back and forth is an amazing thought, and for you to get that heavy as you both just did? is really thought-provoking and inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing that with all of us. We love to hear your thoughts. Especially the deep ones. Please continue. Many of us are reading them, even if everyone is not commenting. Always a pleasure to stop by. All best, James L.

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