Often times as an artist I feel as though being in the same environment for months at a time can be uninspiring.
I spent hours daily dreaming of clandestine cafe dates in Paris or Leon, or confidently galavanting across New York City streets just knowing I would be beatific with artistic inspiration oozing from every person I encountered.
I glorified my future travels as being rife with high artistic productivity, covered in themes of the dreamiest metropolitan places in the world. Much to my chagrin these travels weren’t in the cards for the young high school kiddo (not at least in the near future).
It really hit me when I was reading “The Great Gatsby” when F. Scott Fitzgerald twice mentioned the city of Memphis. A highly esteemed author found the city I lived in reverent enough to mention not once but twice.
It made me reevaluate why I found my city so uninspiring or un-noteworthy. Then I considered why I so romanticized these places, and what captivated me about them.
The quirky Parisian coffee shop barista character that I was so invested in also existed in my hometown, too (but with the addition of a precious southern accent).
The confident city girls here too gallivanted proudly. It was only until one of my director friends told me that the stories the people love and remember the most are about hometown people.
Regular people living their regular lives – longing for connections just like everyone else. This really inspired me to look to my own community to find the beautiful things.
The interesting stories that tie use all together. The collective hum of Memphians living each day at a time. That is a masterpiece worth daydreaming about.
So, Memphis one day soon, I’ll write my love letter to you.