by Grace Bridges
Last week I was at a songwriting camp. I don't write songs these days, but I hungered for the kind of inspiration that flows in and around the people at such an event. Turns out it was just a plain old grand time, hanging out with those who love inspiration as much as I do. When it all comes down, there isn't a whole lot of difference between being inspired to write a song or a story - except in the execution of course. But the spirit is the same: that rabid snatching of ideas when the mood is exactly right, and when the iron is hot.
Beautiful surroundings certainly help towards that end. We were in a place where all of nature is a song, or an epic tale. For the geographically curious, it was in Taurikura at the foot of Mount Manaia, Whangarei Heads - wedged between the mountain and the sea, and surrounded by rolling farmland and bush. New Zealand's Northland is particularly smiled upon with endless scenery and warm weather. Driving up, there always comes a point to sigh happy sighs and realise we are now in the North, where time ticks slower, life is quieter, and the sun almost ever-present.
And these people, they have big hearts - and they wear them on their sleeves. Though I often felt out of place, they made me welcome as a writer among writers. Our similarities are more than our differences.
So if a writer can be inspired by songwriters, what other unexpected sources might there be for us? Folks, the world's our oyster. A writer might just fit in anywhere at all.
Here's some pictures and a journey-song from my experience last week. May you be inspired, too.