I sat under a screen porch watching the midnight thunderstorm approach upriver. A quickening breeze on this summer night promised rain soon. The pines rustled and then drops splatted onto the water just 20 feet away and the tin roof overhead. I had turned out the lights, surrendering any illumination to the thunder’s fire, which neared and sporadically illuminated the space, alternating my vision between dazzling light and blindness.


I shot dozens of fotos attempting to synchronize with the lightning, using nature as my flash. And nature rewarded me, showing me Calliope ever so briefly. She uttered a short incantation in ancient Greek, and when the flash burnt itself out, disappeared never to return. But the moment lives on in my memory, seared into brain tissue.

So travels the siren . . . inspiration, that animus of creativity. Of course, not that inspiration flows predictably.

On sirens and inspiration and music, this was on Adam’s Messing Around in Boats yesterday.

Above photo by Will Van Dorp