All it takes is one unique image, either fleeting or lasting, and that image can strike a kitchen match to the imagination of a writer. Or an artist. Or a musician. It can come from people or nature, anywhere. One merely has to be aware to notice.
A new image arrived today. It rode past me in a windstorm. It was riding so fast I barely saw it.
There I was at my usual corner table in the dive bar, writing a love letter to a loveless person, when something outside the window caught my eye. I looked and saw a man riding a bicycle down the sidewalk along Highway 101 and strapped to his back was a chainsaw, slung like a rifle.
Now this was no grandmother pruning chainsaw. This was a saw with a 42-48 inch bar, a beast, a saw a logger might use to murder a watershed.
I’d never seen a man riding a bicycle with a chainsaw on his back, much less riding on a sidewalk during a windstorm.
Where was he going with the saw in the windstorm?
How was the saw going to be used?
Who was such a man who would carry a chainsaw in such an usual way?
I have no idea where this image will take me as a writer. This is merely a first pass. I sense it will surface in my Western, as will the image from years ago, when I saw a topless woman riding a bicycle into a clearcut. These two images might blend together in some way.