>It will be one week tomorrow that I entered a world that I’ve longed to visit for years. While Friday the 13th might have been an unlucky day for the Knights Templar, for me it was the fulfillment of one of my lifetime dreams. I went to the King Tut exhibit in Philadelphia.
When a writer says that words fail them in being able to describe something, then that’s a pretty phenomenal moment. Writers rarely fail to have words. We might get block at certain points in time, we might put them down in the wrong order, we might even despise what we write, but not being able to put into words something we’ve experienced demonstrates the power of thought and action over words. And words still fail me even almost a week later. Some people will find my thoughts silly, others will roll their eyes, and others will think “that’s how I felt about such and such.” Doesn’t matter much what others think, what I think is what matters.
I’ve had a fascination with Egypt my entire life. I’m a firm believer in reincarnation, and I’m convinced I lived in this time period. Why? Because my fascination has bordered on the obsessed. I’ve always read everything I could on the culture that existed more than 2000 years ago. I don’t believe I lived the life of a royal person; rather I was probably some architect, a scribe or other artist. I’ve no idea what type of life it was, but that I got weepy eyed as I stepped across the threshold of the exhibit was somewhat of a surprise to me. The emotions of that moment made me feel as if I’d come home. And I do mean home. It was as if I’d been away from something I’d loved for a very long time, and then I was face to face with it once more.
The title of this post is Inspiration. I called it this because this sense of coming home, this sense of familiarity and deep-seated passion for something is a part of what I call inspiration. And attending this exhibit did inspire me. I got several different ideas for a story while I was taking my time going through the exhibit. I had my notebook for sketches (they don’t allow pictures to be taken of the artifacts – although I did line Dr. Zadi Hawass’s pockets with the purchase of the $55 exhibition catalog) so I was able to take notes and write down my ideas as I moved through the galleries. There was such an awe-inspiring mood to the exhibit.
Moment such as when I stepped into the gallery that hosted objects from Akhenaten’s reign, I passed through tall columns that resembled those at the temple of Karnak, which is located in Thebes (modern-day Luxor) on the edge of the Nile. The lighting, the size of the columns and the figurehead of Akhenaten as the single artifact in this entrance was enough to take my breath away.
Then there was the moment of walking into the darkened room that held the boy king’s bust. It served as an inspiration from so many points of view, from an appreciation of the delicate artisan’s workmanship, the beauty of the object, the realization that this object was more than 2000 years old, and yet in such remarkable condition as to look not much older than a couple hundred years old.
With each piece I studied and took in, there was this sense of inferiority that I didn’t have the ability to create something so intrinsically beautiful. There was this awe for the skill and craftsmanship of people who lived so long ago and yet created objects of such incredible beauty with the most primitive of tools. For me, the three hours I spent in the exhibit wasn’t long enough. I’m even thinking about going again before the exhibit leaves at the end of September. If you live within a day’s drive of Philadelphia, I can assure you that the exhibit is well worth the time and money. In fact, this is pretty much a once in a lifetime experience as it’s been almost 30 years since the exhibit was last in this country.
What Inspires You?
To say I was inspired by the King Tut exhibit is an understatement. It was profound, intense and gratifying on so many levels. So what inspires you? What exhibit, object, person, place or event inspires you in a way that you want to create something that matches the beauty of your own personal inspiration?