Banking on Inspiration

When I signed up for this year’s SOL Challenge, I was already “banking” ideas, nervous about finding myself in a topic-empty vault. In one of my posts, I mentioned Ruth Ozeki’s brilliant novel, A Tale for the Time Being. My daily notebook tells me that I finished it on February 21. By that date, I had decided to accept the challenge.

My beach walk that day revealed a treasure, and I had just finished Ozeki’s tale, set in Japan, post Fukushima Daiichi’s nuclear disaster in 2011. Debris and its unpredictable, far-reaching travels plays a major role in the narrative.

Then I see this bottle rooted in sand. I have committed to picking up garbage for several years now, but I am startled upon closer inspection. The writing is clearly Japanese; I take it for a sign. I bring it home thinking “possible post” and “Holy */%, North Pacific Current!”

By now I’ve looked up the type of mussels that have clearly found a home, a real bottleneck of mollusks; they are goosenecks, and my daughter-in-law, who helps me use Google Lens to pinpoint the species, and I feel like true discoverers. Later that week, she sends me this :

All of this just to say, I made my way through #SOL21 without spending this post in my “bank”—until today. Thanks to my fellow bloggers and everyone at the TWO WRITING TEACHERS site who made it possible. I am inspired more than enough by all of you!