Friday, December 17, 2010

Inspiration

A friend of mine on fb had a status with an open question: What inspires you?

With the limited space of response on fb, my answer is:

'sometimes it's my children. sometimes it's a dream. sometimes it's a snippet from a conversation or something I read. sometimes it's seeing what someone else has done. sometimes it's just finding a moment to be -still- -here- -now-, and at peace.'

Sometimes, it's my children-- when I glance over at them as they sit on the couch, notebooks open in their laps, drawing, writing and talking as they create adventures and stories that whiz across the pages. When they're outside underneath the palm tree using bamboo to defend the house from zombies and werewolves and vampires and they holler to me, "We've got your back, Mom!" When the house gets quiet and I slip down the hall to check on them in one of their rooms, huddled together under a blanket and plotting, or sitting out in the open using blocks or legos to build fantastic armies and cities and stories. When the two of them choose to sit close together, their heads touching as they make up stories. When they reach out to show affection to one another. All of these and so very many more, are times when my children inspire me. They inspire me to open my heart to love and show me the wonderful rewards of doing so. They inspire me to play and let loose the reins of my creativity. They inspire me to laugh and remember that what being alive is all about is LIVING. And living with the people that matter most to us.

Sometimes it's a dream that inspires me. Usually, my dreams are where I go to figure out difficulties in the project I'm working on, be it a paper or a piece of art, or whatever. In my dreams, I can puzzle out the solutions and wake knowing what I need to do. I've been known to go to sleep with only the quotes and the question I want to answer, to wake and write a wonderful 10 page paper. I've been known to run into a block in a piece of art-- a point that I reach and think, "Uh-oh! I cannot continue doing it like this...that's not going to work...but I don't know what to DO to get it back on track!!" and wake with perfect clarity on how to proceed. And sometimes, my dreams are inspiration for stories of wild adventure to share with my children to entertain them before they go to sleep for wild adventures of their own.

Sometimes it's a snippet from a conversation or something that I read that inspires me. This blog is an example of one of those, as my friend asking a question that I read is what brought me here. Usually, snippets are what start me out on research mode-- and I must admit, I absolutely ADORE research mode! There are so many questions to answer-- and so many different answers. With the use of computers and technology, the wealth of human knowledge is only a click away-- if you know how and where to look. Snippets are usually the starting point that inspire me to doing. I like to research before I get started on things.

Sometimes, seeing what someone else has done will inspire me. Much like snippets, I can see so very much of this through the internet. There are so many amazing artists, crafters and people out there in the world doing astonishing things-- and I am grateful to them for sharing what they do. I tend to look at something someone has done and think of the parts of it that I like-- and the parts of it that I would change that are more like me. I also have a tendency to think about how it could be used to do something completely different than what it was originally used for. And I love that the internet can be used via videos and blogs as a how to for techniques. I can honestly say that the internet taught me how to drum, how to embroider, numerous recipes and even helped me with home first aid.

And last, but not least, sometimes it's just finding a moment to be -still- -here- -now-, and at peace. It happens when I step outside and pause to listen to the wind rustle the leaves. When I close my eyes and tip my face up to the unexpected warmth of the sun. When I lay in the cold crisp air and watch the stars, feeling immensely small and infinitely large at the same time. This one is the most difficult for me to achieve, but also the most rewarding, because it calms me: All the clutter in my mind goes away. All the 'to do lists' become less important. All the deadlines and doubts and complications take a back seat, and perspective reins. I am reminded that I -can-. That what I am doing, is what I am meant to be doing. Here. Now.

And without that moment, the rest would remain dreams and thoughts, and simply would not be accomplished.

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