Creativity peters out if it isn’t fed. You can’t write without inspiration. Now, inspiration isn’t some etherial faery who comes and goes at its own will bringing inspiration with it and then producing writer’s block when it leaves. Instead, inspiration is something you have to seek. It can come in the form of the latest novel you read, last night’s sunset, a trip through a gallery of fine art, your child’s latest learning curve, or one of the latest archeological discoveries. Inspiration comes in the form of anything that sparks your imagination.
So let’s do a little imagination sparking!
A couple years ago scientists from the University of Houston stumbled upon an amazing discovery: a lost Honduran civilization. Archeologists were searching for the mythical “White City” an archeologist reportedly found in the 40s, filled with treasure and intact statues, fabulous artifacts, and a long lost statue of a monkey god. Though he brought back incredible artifacts at the time, he committed suicide before ever returning, thereby taking the secret of the location with him to the grave (this is an entirely different story to fill us with creative inspiration, and we will have to get into it next time!). The archeological team, while scanning the depths of the Honduran jungle with LiDAR, thought they might have discovered the lost “Ciudad Blanca”. Later surveying and mapping shows that while this was not the mythical city, it was the first sign of a lost civilization.
The archaeologists mapped out plazas, earthworks, and even an earthen pyramid. They also discovered a remarkable cache of stone artifacts that hadn’t been touched since the city was abandoned centuries ago. The cache of artifacts was found at the base of the pyramid, probably laid there as an offering. These objects included stone vessels carved with snakes as well as with vultures. They even found, emerging from the ground, the top of an unusual carved figure that looked like a cross between a werewolf and a jaguar.
Can you imagine discovering such a site? It sounds like something out of an Indiana Jones movie, doesn’t it?
Is Your Imagination Sparked Yet?
Let me show you just what reading about such a find can do for your imagination:
We don’t know anything about this civilization, so we can conjecture and imagine as much as we want. What happened to the civilization? Why did they disappear, and why was the city abandoned for so long with such an expensive and extensive offering abandoned with no raiders or looters from other settlements disturbing it?
What if the city was abandoned during the Spanish conquistadors’ invasion? Let’s describe the scenario:
The civilization was that of a warrior people. They believed that they were descended from an unusual werewolf and jaguar hybrid which had terrorized the area, hunting under the light of a full moon and decimating the surrounding villages. This fearsome creature had built the pyramid as a pedestal to help it reach the light of the full moon through the dense jungle that surrounded the area. Just like their supposed ancestor, these warrior people survived through hunting and raiding. They trained their young children to either be warriors (for the boys) or wives and mothers of warriors. A little like the Spartans. But then the Spanish conquistadors came. And the new white men pillaged the surrounding cities and decimated the wild animal population that this warrior civilization relied upon for food. Still, the warrior civilization wasn’t going to give up. After all, they were a city of fighters. One of the daughters of the king had other plans, though. She was a romantic at heart. And she didn’t like the old war hero that her father had promised her to. In contrast, the unusual looking Spaniards with the dramatic contrast of their near black hair, their pale skin, and their sharp noses intrigued her. One young conquistador in particular who she met while foraging in the woods fascinated her. After meeting clandestinely with him for over a month, the two of them learning each others language bit by bit over that time, they decided to run away together. The conquistador took her back to Spain with him without a word to her family. The princesses’s mother, stricken with grief over the disappearance of her favorite daughter, killed her own husband in rage. The leaders of the city believed their gods had cursed them. To propitiate their gods, they left an offering at the base of the temple to their hybrid ancestor, too terrified now to enter the temple itself. Then, they abandoned the city they loved, falling from their rich heights to meld into a nomadic hunter-gatherer people.
What do you think? Pretty far fetched, I know. But still, do you see what you can do in even a few minutes when you find some inspiration?
Did this give you a boost of creative inspiration? What does inspire your creativity? Please, please, please comment below! I would love to know what inspires your creativity, exchange creative inspiration with you, and just in general start a conversation!