Take a stroll around the waterfront in Wellington, New Zealand, and it’s not hard for writers to find inspiration. On any sunny weekend this two-kilometre stretch of wharf and water frontage, backed by the national museum, boating harbours and the high-rises of Wellington city, buzzes with people.
Every one of them has their own story, and it’s fun to sit down at the gelato shop, watch, and imagine. Why is that woman jogging with a pram? Is she trying to get fit – or just in a hurry? There are schoolkids, leaping with laughing abandon from the wharf-to splash into deep water below. It’s a major drop. Do they do it for a dare? For bragging rights? Or just because it’s summer, and they are young, and it is hot.
Elsewhere a busker wails over his battery PA system. His voice sounds like he is singing from the bottom of a drain. Does he do it for income, or because he likes singing? Nobody pays him any attention. Maybe he likes annoying people.
Stories flow around this place; real stories, imaginary stories. Inspiring stories. Cool stories, and, I am sure, sad stories. It is a place for inspiration. And the gem – for me at least – remains the writers’ walk. Quotes from nearly twenty of New Zealand’s best known authors are scattered with seemingly joyous abandon across nearly a kilometre of waterfront. The concrete plaques peek, coyly, from gardens; they nestle in shadowy corners of wharves. And they rest where the sea laps across them.
The wisdom of their words – the frozen thoughts of authors whose corporeal forms, in many cases, are now dust – speaks to us across the years. Their insights remain timeless.
Later, I’ll post some of the more interesting ones in detail.
Right now, I’d like to know more about you – do you have a place like this that inspires you? Or somewhere very different, that is personal to your style? Where you can go to find inspiration, people and – oh yes, gelato.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2012