Saturday, September 9, 2017

Obiter Dicta, no. 15

It is in vain to write on chosen themes. We must wait till they have kindled a flame in our minds. There must be the copulating and generating force of love behind every effort destined to be successful. The cold resolve gives birth to, begets, nothing. The theme that seeks me, not I it. The poet's relation to his theme is the relation of lovers. It is no more to be courted. Obey, report.

— Thoreau, The Journal, 1837-1861

Sometimes thoughts produce written offspring like rabbits. Other times, it's more like trying to encourage captive pandas to mate. Pent-up frustration occasionally compels me to walk the digital streets and alleyways of the web with a cold resolve to find and arrange a tryst, or even a marriage of convenience, if need be, with some theme willing to satisfy my satyrical writer's urges, but it's no use fooling myself. I'm too old-fashioned for that. What I want and need is passionate romance, intoxicating inspiration. Without it, the act of scribbling for its own sake is merely masturbatory.