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  • Wojciech Salski

Wardrobe of Ideas

Updated: Apr 28

Searching for a topic to write about is like rummaging through the vast messy wardrobe… You can have the intention of what you’re looking for, but you should not be disappointed with what you may find in the process…

The boy sat on the couch and stretched his arms overhead. The day has just begun and after preparing the morning coffee, which was more of a ‘writing coffee’ at this point, he was ready to type out some creativity. He picked up the laptop, opened a new document, and rested the palms across the keyboard. What do I write about today the question filled the room, leaving crumbs of apprehension and boredom mixed with those of excitement and inspiration. The boy thought about the process and trying to squeeze the creativity out of his brain like a sponge, he struggled to find any inspiration at all. It felt as if his writer’s source has dried out. Consternated and a little troubled, he placed the laptop back on the table and took a sip of coffee. What a start his inner critic hissed quietly.

*

Thinking of the topics worth exploring the boy sat in silence. His imagination stumbled across the halls of his mind, looking for her sister -creativity, which must have overslept or has taken an unreported day off. His subconscious busy with its tasks, closed his eyes and wondered where could one’s source for ideas have its place. Sherlock Holmes claimed he has a mind castle the boy remembered, like a place in which he files memories and ideas for future use… He was a genius though his doubt added, and he wasn’t real… The boy sighed, true. Considering his own mind’s inner workings he suddenly thought of a wardrobe, similar to that portrayed in the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. Its wooden doors are beautifully designed and sculptured, its colors fashionable and toned, its insides vast and endless in their spaciousness. That’s how my mind’s filing cabinet would look like he concluded with a smile. Letting this picture manifest itself on the screen of his consciousness, the boy followed his intuition and entered the wardrobe in search of understanding the inner workings of his creativity.

*

The hall was huge, its walls shooting up into the darkness, their ends not possible to spot. He took a few steps and surprised with the doors closing behind him stopped. A moment of complete darkness made his heart shuffle uncomfortably within his chest. It’s okay his wise ancient part of the mind affirmed, you’re still home… The vastness of the hall became visible, as rows of torches sparked their light, which seemed like someone flipping the switch in the room. Calling this place ‘a room’ would be an extreme understatement, and realizing this, the boy’s understanding of the abundance grew exponentially. He was in the middle of what appeared to be an endless (both in distance and height) storage. There were rows of shelves set one against the other. He felt so small inside this space it was overwhelming. Taking a few turns and pinching himself several times the boy realized he was neither asleep nor awake, I must be still searching for some story idea out there he thought seeing his body rested on the sofa with a cup of coffee clasped between its hands. That’s what a great focus should be called he laughed in pride.

*

Letting the worries of ‘how to get back’ wander aimlessly, he started the walk. Passing the rows he gazed at the surroundings trying to make up a certain order or at least understand what kind of things are stored on these vast shelves. Despite the weak lighting, he was able to see parts of them. He noticed a few removal boxes from when his family moved houses, a tricycle from his childhood, an old game console, a swing made of a tire, which hanged outside his grandparent's house. He kept walking listing the things he was able to recognize and quickly came to realize there is almost everything one could think of. Anything that has been a part of his experience in the ‘real world’ has found its place here, between all the other more and less important relics of the past. After passing the fifteenth row, the boy noticed that the things on the shelves were no longer only static, but were able to move and shiver. It felt scary at first but coming closer to one of these unidentified objects he realized there was plenty of memories stuck on see-through pieces of film, hovering in space close to one another. It reminded him of the newspaper announcements theme from the stories of Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. Understanding what he was looking at the calmed his heart, but the slight uneasiness of this phenomenon stayed with him. Shall we get back now his apprehensive inner voice asked. Not yet, we need to find creativity first his firm decisiveness answered.

*

The boy kept walking and walking. The shelves appeared in the distance, grew bigger, and shuffled across his sight, as he passed each of them. He was no longer interested in the items stored on them, there will be time to look through these one day. He needed to find his Muse. Upon approaching one of the rows he heard a faint echo of someone’s voice. The voice sounded similar to his, which considering the space he was in, would not be such a surprise, and trying to figure out where does the echo come from he turned into the alley. Picking up the pace, he walked between the shelves glancing at the items. Must be one of the traveling abroad alleys he noted, as the few items reminded him of his Greek vacation. The echo grew in volume and some words became apparent. Get down here someone pleaded, we got to go…!

*

Feeling the excitement he finally spotted a shape of what looked like a person standing in the middle of the alley. He felt like running towards but quickly decided to keep the pace as it was, as to not scare the other and gauge who could it be before arriving too close to be able to run. It’s a weird feeling he noted, like that of the first time you try something new… Feels exciting but can be quite scary… Observing the figure he closed the distance and noticed that there was someone else. A person was on one of the shelves. Get down already the figure standing in the middle demanded, we have no time! The boy approached the scene and cleared his throat. The figure standing a few meters from him tensed for a moment and turned around. It was a girl about his age. Oh, it's you the girl exclaimed, thank god, maybe you’ll get her to come down she pointed her finger at the person climbing the shelves, you’re the voice of reason after all… The boy was surprised to hear his voice coming out of the girl’s mouth, but taken by the moment he decided to not argue about it, it’s all in the mind he tried to calm himself internally. Looking up at the shelf, he noticed another girl, similar to the one on the floor, although the one below wore glasses, whereas the one above didn’t. Who’s that he asked. What do you mean the girl smiled, it’s creativity silly, our sister…

*

The boy felt weird as if suddenly someone turned on the inner switch making it all reasonable and logical. And I am he asked knowing the answer already. Reason she answered, although by asking this I wonder if you are… The girl laughed briefly and as her cheeks turned little red she added, I’m sorry couldn’t stop myself… He looked at the girl up top, who appeared to be searching for something, and taking a few steps forward he shouted, hey we have to go! The girl turned around for a moment and looked at him. She appeared annoyed. Go where she whined turning another box upside down, I have nothing to write about today! Her voice sounded like she was about to cry. That’s okay, he quickly parred, you cannot be perfect every day you know! He looked at the other sister who nodded her head, no one is.

*

The boy gasped as if woken up from a dream, but he knew he was not asleep. He spilled the coffee over his shirt and was now sitting on the couch with a black splash of aromatic liquid covering his chest, oh wow… He thought of the story, which must have happened inside his head while he was trying to come up with something, and realized there was no such thing as ‘creativity and inspiration on demand’, it just didn’t work that way. He got up, took off his shirt, and hanged it on the chair in the garden. Sitting back to his laptop he decided to type out anything that decided to offer itself to him during this hour of writing, regardless of its artistic value and intricacy. Thinking of the inspiration and creativity as parts of himself he wanted to be more empathetic towards them both. It’s reasonable to assume we are not going to do a great job every day his mind claimed, and that’s okay…


Also check out my other story:

https://www.wsalski.com/post/make-your-move



*art by Katarzyna Druszcz

#prose #creativewriting #wardrobe #writingstruggle #insearchforinspiration

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