So You Want To Be Inspired? Do I have a destination for you! The Carl Sandburg Home near Asheville NC
"There is a place for me somewhere, where I can write and speak as much as I can think, and make it pay for my living and some besides." - Carl Sandburg
What do 1,175,000 words, Abraham Lincoln, hiking, poetry and goat farming have in common with this gate? If your answer is unimaginable inspiration through authentic living by an icon of literature, journalism, poetry, activism and love, you would be correct. In short, I describe Carl Sandburg, his life and his estate, all National Historic treasures. This hub is inspired by a visit to his estate in Flat Rock, NC.
For any lover of American literature, even if you're as illiterate as I am, you would still know the name Carl Sandburg. Perhaps the most celebrated American Pulitzer Prize Winner, poet, journalist, writer and activist of our culture. His contribution to our country and genre go well beyond what we know of him. What I learned about him immediately impacted my life, so much so, my meager description here will be woefully inadequate. My hope is to sufficiently move you with this hub that you will decide now, to duplicate my day at some time in the near future. I promise you will never be the same. My perspective of literature, poetry, farming and life took an unexpected and profoundly inspirational turn.
An American Classic
My wife, Sophia, and I really enjoy hiking. Today was my turn to choose the place where we would meander through nature. Usually, it is Sophia who chooses our destination as she is much more the planner and outdoor enthusiast. Today, was somehow different and now I know why. Today, we would not only view nature, we would meet the legend and legacy of Carl and Lilian Sandburg at the National Historic site of their estate. Yes, I said, "Carl and Lilian". I'll explain why a little later.
I'm not much of a history buff and you would think that as an aspiring writer I would be more familiar with the literature associated with a symbol of American composition. Truly, I wish I had been. Better late than never and there was, indeed, much to see and learn. As you can see by the photo of the inscription to the right that Carl Sandburg was an expert biographer of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.
Sandburg won one of his three Pulitzer Prize Awards for the 1,175,000 word, four volume set on the life and Presidency of Lincoln which it took 13 years for him to pen. Mr Sandburg was more than that though. His poetry, speeches, activism and even musicianship were renowned.
His Inspiration Goes Even Deeper
Carl and Lilian (Paula) Sandburg
As I traversed the property I realized the magnitude of the man that had walked this land from 1945 until his death in 1967. What impressed me the most about the life of Carl Sandburg was the love and respect he showed for his wife, Lilian. The photo above is of Connemara Farms where Lilian Sandburg revolutionized the goat dairy industry. At its height of operation from 1946-1952 there were approximately 200 goats, many of which were champions. Carl Sandburg not only was a prolific American cultural icon, he encouraged his wife who had done the same for him in there early days in Chicago. Mrs Sandburg spent her time developing the farm and the goat industry in North Carolina. Mr. and Mrs. Sandburg were truly two of a kind in different fields and Carl credited his wife with their mutual success.
It is necessary now and then for a man to go away by himself and experience loneliness; to sit on a rock in the forest and ask himself,
Who am I, where have I been and where am I going? - Carl Sandburg
A Unique Privilege
If there is a luckier man on the face of this planet, I'd like to meet him, shake his hand and listen to his story. I have come to expect the unexpected whenever Sophia and I are together hiking. The experience of being on the grounds, walking, talking and soaking up the spirit of a couple who symbolized much of what we desire was somewhat overwhelming for me.
As a believer in the power of visualization to attract what we desire, seeing the Carl and Lilian Sandburg example firsthand was evidence that dreams do come true. No, I'm not delusional! I'm inspired to live life with fervor, to let whatever I can do take precedence over what I think I can't do and to work at something I enjoy as much as breathing!
As I sat in the chair and read, however momentarily it may have been, I realized that a comment made by Maharaja Prem Rawat was accurate. He teaches that with every breath there is potential and possibilities. If you would have told me that I would one day sit in a chair on the property of an American Classic like Carl or Lilian Sandburg, I probably would have laughed out loud. Things change, and so do people, especially with sufficient inspiration and or time.
I encourage you to believe in your dreams. They mean something to you and to the collective planetary community as well. Follow your passion, that voice that comes to you, most often from a place of which you are unaware. It may be faint, but you will know when you hear it. You will know when that voice says, "what are you waiting for, write it down." Perhaps one day someone will sit on or near a place where your spirit longs to encourage them to feel the potential and the possibilities.
Who Lives In Your House?
Whose Voice Will You Be?
It is said that Carl Sandburg was the voice of those who didn't have the power to speak for themselves. Imagine what would have happened to the people he spoke up for if his voice was never heard. If Mr. Sandburg decided to keep his thoughts and his voice to himself, I for one would not have been inspired to continue with my desire to express myself.
Metaphorically, I walked through the gate of inspiration with the hope that I would only achieve the potential and possibilities of each breath and that would lead me to love what I do and live my life with the passion and fervor of a Carl Sandburg, no matter what it was I chose to do! If you love to write, then write with every ounce of passion you can muster!
I would encourage you to visit the Sandburg Estate, a National Historic Park, In Flat Rock, North Carolina about 30 miles southeast of Asheville.
Peace be with you my friends!