Drawing Inspiration from Surf Bums

I was inspired Friday night. We went to the Moore Theater to see Switchfoot’s current rock show. Who are they? They are the sweetest quint of San Diego surfer dudes to grace a rock and roll stage. And their music inspires me and lifts me up. I wrote this out as soon as I got home that night, but it was still too full of the moment, too plump with swirling emotion, specific to the artists I saw. I was so excited to tell you what I saw, how it made me feel that I missed my own point.

Last night, the words that came were an extension of what Switchfoot conveyed: Don’t take today for granted, see the mundane for the beautiful thing that it is, and believe in love and people.

And that’s all lovely. But it’s not what I meant to say when I went to write this. I meant to write about inspiration. I get caught up in being a fan. I fall into the whirl of the crowd, into the beat and the emotion that it draws out of me. But that’s not inspiration.

Someone who successfully inspires me makes me want to walk further down my own creative path. When the pomp of the evening is over, the thing that is left is inspiration. It’s the thing that makes me write this again so that my words say what I want. The thing that connects those emotions of Friday night to my own endeavors. Because all those feelings are wonderful, but they result in nothing if they don’t illicit action as a result. Inspiration is the thing that churns in your guts until you pick a pen or a camera or a paintbrush. The desire to grab the moment and make it bloom in your creative work.

I could tell you about the serendipity I saw in their show, the message of their new lyrics, or how they’ve remained beautifully true to their surfer boy roots even after twenty years of being on stages around the world. But that doesn’t probably inspire you. So I re-wrote it. I wrote it so I am not telling you their story, but so that I can further my own by telling you that they affected me, and then showing you what came of that inspiration.

One of their songs says:

Yesterday is a wrinkle on your forehead
Yesterday is a promise that you’ve broken
Don’t close your eyes, don’t close your eyes
This is your life and today is all you’ve got now
Yeah, and today is all you’ll ever have
Don’t close your eyes
Don’t close your eyes
This is your life, are you who you want to be?

And I love it when that question presents itself because it makes me want to go and create.
I am inspired. It’s one of the best places to be.