Weaver of Grass recently suggested in her blog a meme for today whose theme was “inspiration.” Yesterday, in the comments section of this blog, she extended a direct invitation to join in.
So, rather late, but for what it’s worth, here goes…
One of my dictionaries defines “inspiration” thusly: The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative; a person or thing that stimulates in this way.
I’m not trying to be facetious when I say my inspiration comes from life—from parents and family and all their history, from the time and milieu in which I was raised, the people I’ve met and the things I’ve done, and all those experiences—good and bad—which have happened to me and around, gave me shape, tempered my mettle along the way. All of it has furnished impetus for inspiration.
There have been numerous models, many examples, various muses; I’ve found influences in every direction. Reasons beyond naming; countless epiphanies. Inspiration in abundance.
Moreover, I don’t believe any of us ever lack for inspiration; what’s tough to come by, sometimes, is insight. Where’s the inspiration in pain and suffering? In a personal illness or the death of a friend? Suppose you lose your job or your marriage breaks apart…how can that be inspiring? Is failure inspiring?
As it happens, that same dictionary also gives a second definition for “inspiration”: The drawing in of breath; inhalation; part of the respiration process.
Of course this definition refers to the purely physiological; part of the biological functioning of a living organism. It has nothing to do with that interior spark that motivates and inspires us, thereby causing a person to feel and act…to create.
Or does it?
There’s another aspect to inspiration that deals with the divinity of its nature and provenance. The notion that inspiration stems from a divine source.
Life is such a precious gift. There is beauty all around—in nature and in people. Everywhere, inspiration. The worst moments of my life have always also contained a blessing…though it took me years to realize this fact. Divine grace? I believe so.
Where do I find inspiration? I find it in the recognition of beauty, the joy of wonder; the little adventures of everyday life. There is inspiration in a fresh-baked loaf of bread on the counter. In the handshake of a friend. In the glowing swirls of orange and turquoise, purple and gold, in a sunset sky. In my old dog leaning companionably against my leg. In the dawn proclamations of a singing wren. In a narrow footpath twisting through a summer woods.
My inspiration comes from loving and being loved…and from sharing. Nothing is more inspiring than sharing. That’s why I write and take photos—to share. You, dear readers, are inspiration personified; the very essence of the word.
With every breath, I’m inspired.