Day seventeen of my 365 Day Blogging Challenge has requested I write about the people I idolize.
I’ve been thinking about this question all day. As I walked the chilly streets in a daze of depression I pondered what this word meant to me.
It didn’t take me long to decide that it is not a celebrity that I have the hots for. When I think of the word idol, I never think of cheesy television talent shows or warbling boy bands.
Nor do I think of Higher Powers, although this is by definition what an idol is; an image used in worship; a false God.
When I think of my idols, I think of people who have inspired me, souls that have touched and pushed me toward bigger and better things. Individuals who I look up to and say ‘darn, your talent and committment make me want to be a greater person’.
Once this decision was made, the only thing that popped into my mind were fictional characters. As The Doctor tangoed with Brooke Davis, Chuck Bartowski was summoning the courage to ask Jilly Coppercorn onto the dance floor. But these people are not people. They are figments of several people’s imaginations. Of writers, creators, directors and actors. The lives I have shared have been crafted, shaped and designed to reflect the moral, ethical and metaphorical constructs of the stories they feature in.
So in constructing the list I knew I had to eliminate fictional characters from the mix. The people I truly look to as my inspiration are flesh and blood, not ink and celluloid. The people I consider my idols are:
I will freely admit this television show is not spoken of in the same circles as The Wire, Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad, nor am I going to argue that it should be. Each exist in different genres, each represent individual visions and alternate audiences. What they all share is an innate skill when it comes to characterisation and originality.
What One Tree Hill lacked in the originality of its premise, it made up for in the uniqueness of its voice. A voice that is quintessentially Mark Schwahn’s.
When I think of individual episodes of this show almost all of them were written by the creator. Immediately the intimacy and power of With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept floods my memory banks, as does the powerful subsequent episode Who Will Survive, And What Will Be Left Of Them. Of course the season finales are thought of with their (at times) over the top cliffhangers, but episodes such as Pictures of You and To Wish Impossible Things, that focus primarily on character and relationship are perfect examples of television writing.
I admire Mark Schwahn’s ability to create character (I’ve already stated I believe Brooke Davis to be one of the finest fictional female’s I’ve ever come across) as well as the risks he took throughout the show’s nine season run. He is a writer I hold in high esteem and one who rekindled my own passion of this field of the arts. As such, I have no qualms to list him as someone I idolize.
The following video clip from the episode With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept contains a MASSIVE SPOILER for those who have not seen season 3 or beyond. So do not watch if you’re currently viewing, or planning to watch the series. I should add it is also potentially triggering, just to be safe. It is however, a beautiful piece of writing.
Charles De Lint
My favourite writer. A musician, lyricist, folklorist and all round inspirational man. Over the years he has created dozens of characters who flew of the page and into my heart; Jilly Coppercorn, Janey Little, Isabelle Copley and – of course – Blue.
I have long admired his pioneering work in Urban Fantasy and have never hidden how his work served as a source of inspiration toward my own dabbling in this genre.
A beautiful and creative soul that has taught me many things in the realm of writing, folklore and mythology. He also, through his author’s notes, introduced me to the group The Walkabouts, for which I will be eternally grateful.
The world over people worship footballers, AFL stars, athletes, rugby players and swimmers for their skills in the arena of physical sport. I admire none of them. I do admire this man for so many reasons – all of which are on full display in this video:
Beside the Ocean of Time. Greenvow. Magnus. Vinland. For the Islands I Sing. Hawkfall.
The poetic and literary output of this astonishing writer speaks for itself.
There are few writers who write with such a lyrical, timeless beauty. A skill I can only wish I possessed. My introduction to George Mackay Brown came at a Writer’s Museum in an Edinburgh backstreet. An exhibit that served as the inspiration for me to visit Orkney, and later, read my first of his canon; Beside the Ocean of Time.
Although it didn’t grab me at first, by the time I reached the final chapter I was spellbound. I can recall to this day the tears that trickled my face as I read the words that captured my heart forever.
Of all the writers and poets out there he holds my highest esteem. To be as talented as he is but a dream, but the power in which he infuses his words, will forever be a source of aspiration.
New Child: ECL
Wait a while, small voyager
On the shore, with seapinks and shells.
Will take a few summers to build
That you must make your voyage in.
You will learn the names.
That golden light is ‘sun ~ ‘moon’
The silver light
That grows and dwindles.
And the beautiful small splinters
That wet the stones, ‘rain’.
There is a voyage to make,
A chart to read,
But not yet, not yet.
‘Daisies’ spill from your fingers.
The night daisies are ‘stars’.
The keel is laid, the strakes
Will be set, in time.
A tree is growing
That will be a tall mast.
All about you, meantime
The music of humanity,
The dance of creation
Scored on the chart of the voyage.
The stories, legends, poems
Will be woven to make your sail.
You may hear the beautiful tale of Magnus
Who took salt on his lip.
Your good angel
Will be with you on that shore.
Soon, the voyage of EMMA
To Tir-Nan-Og and beyond.
Star of the Sea, shine on her voyage.
GMB © 1996
for Emma Catherine Lawson
From ‘Following a Lark’ (published 1996)
There are others, many so, but for now I feel this will do. I peeked ahead, you see, and shortly within the 365 Day Challenge is a prompt that will allow these real-life individuals to shine.
But their time will come, for now, who are your idols?