PoetGrant's Press

Inside the Mind of PoetGrant

Writing and Music

May 23, 2019 — Grant Ford

Writing

I have been writing for years. Since I was fifteen (15) years old I have been fascinated with the written word. I enjoy wordplay and simple turns of phrase that just make a reader feel like they know something that others don't. I enjoy the secret things hidden beneath the words and I enjoy the realm of subcreation described by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Most of all, I enjoy inscribing symbols that hold different meanings to every reader.

Sometimes my writing is simplistic, but sometimes I delve deeply into the underworld of thought, the dark places in time and from it bring forth a truth that only I can find. Then, when it sees light and others read the funny symbols that I have managed to spell out on paper or screen, they derive a dark truth from them that I may not understand. I like to write. It was my entire goal of achieving a degree in English at Harding University. It is the reason I stayed in the library while others went out to their parties and sports. It is why I delved into the medieval German texts while others studied their numbers and formulas. The journey through college was a mystical experience that filled my head with images of dark forests and wild landscapes and mythical beasts and ancient gods that once walked the earth.

Hiking

While hidden away in the cloister of the university library I met a friend who encouraged to experience that which I read and wrote. I took the advice of Ernest Hemmingway and went to the mountains with this new friend. We conquered the etins of the earth by scaling those mountains. The mists and steam that rolled over me as I struggled against the eternal spirit of the forested hills breathed into me new life, a raw energy and hunger for more. The small, rocky path that led to the peak of Thunderhead Mountain was a trail of will. Equipped with $20 hiking boots from Walmart, a $30 pack that rubbed my back raw, and an $80 wool, wide-brimmed hat, I made the journey with my friend up the steps to Asgard to live with the gods.

I still remember climbing up, almost ten (10) years ago, a steep stone wall and at its peak there grew long, stringy grass that was shrouded in the smoke that seemed to pour from the rocks themselves. My friend was close behind me with the energy that I only saw described in the ancient texts as a "strength of gods among men". The path continued upward, a steady and slow trek, blisters climbing my heels and rash forming on my back. One more steep climb and we reached the peak of Thunderhead Mountain.

The stories were true. The wind whipped around the peak in a fury, mist and smoke swirling, shrouding the rocky peak in magic. The voice of the wind was deep and bellowing, it was the voice of Heimdall and Odin, it was the voice of Thor and Freya. Atop that peak I found a truth in the world. Atop that peak my friend found a truth in the world. We were both baptised a new knowledge of the world. The knowledge that such things as gods and men and their eternal struggle existed on a deeper, more primal level. Atop that peak I discovered what poetry truly was and what myth truly meant to the world.

Hiking and climbing, th'eternal struggle against nature were represented in man's struggle against god and the gods. We made it farther in distance over the next three days, but there on that peak I made more progress than in all of the thousands of miles I have hiked since. That journey and trial was the beginning of true understanding and it was a delving into the darkness of myth and the beauty of legends.

I started writing fifteen (15) years ago, but it was only ten (10) years ago that I began to understand ow to write in symbols and thoughts.

Music

Later I found the quiet of the library too loud for the mind to spin tales and myths, so I began to listen to music to block out the noise. I discovered so many artists that worked in the arcane arts of folk and metal music. Valravn, Sequentia, and Jocelyn Montgomery became my go-to musical influences as I practiced the art of writing. They served me for years and I wish I could thank them all personally, but lately I have discovered someting more etherial and raw. Danhiem has been a steady inspiration for setting a pattern to my writing habits.

The Sum of All Things

Music has been indispensable in my writing process. Through experience I found truth and through practice I found ease. This trio of elements are what make up my writing process. The things like choosing a text editor and colors and fonts and publishing styles and all of the minutia that go into writing are an afterthought. With Practice, Experience, and Music I am able to get words on the screen and spell out the truth of myth through the tales that I breathed in atop that mountain.

I hope you have enjoyed this little experiential journey with me. Let's call it a bonus article for the week.

Cheers!