Inspiration: From the Free Dictionary on line.
a. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.
b. The condition of being so stimulated.
2. An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention.
3. Something, such as a sudden creative act or idea, that is inspired.
4. The quality of inspiring or exalting: a painting full of inspiration.
5. Divine guidance or influence exerted directly on the mind and soul of humankind.
6. The act of drawing in, especially the inhalation of air into the lungs.
The last definition here, the act of drawing in, is a way I think about inspiration. When I am inspired I draw that person, place or event into myself and then expel it out, like the act of breathing, involuntary and necessary for life. I have four main inspirations that I draw in and breath out.
My first inspiration was the beauty and power of nature. Besides sunsets and rainbows I have been inspired by wild rain storms, thunder and lightning, and even snow and ice. As a child I loved making snow forts to play in and once created a life-size nude woman snow figure that to my surprise shocked the neighbors. I guess they didn’t get it about inspiration.
I have been inspired by places in nature, drawing in pleasure of the body, mind and spirit while soaking in the hot springs of the Zen Center in Tassajara tucked high in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California.
I have been inspired and awestruck from experiences like watching full moons rising over Angel Island in Sausalito across the bay from San Francisco or by walking among the 2000 year old redwood trees in Muir woods once standing inside a tree feeling the living tree pour that energy from thousands of years into my awareness and body. I have been inspired by being above the clouds in Macchu Picchu in Peru where I imagined through a hypnogogic experience, because of the rarified air, how the ancient Peruvian people once lived.
Nature inspires me to attempt to capture it, hold onto it, take photographs of it and make art with it. I’m inspired by a raw lump of clay to make a bowl with it, to create something of use out of what appears to be nothing until I draw it in and and expel it out into form.
One of my earliest memories is as a three year old was being on a family picnic in a park when we walked past a woman sitting in a field with her easel and paints as she captured the landscape in front of her. I was full of wonder as I saw that she was recreating on a flat surface the scene that lay before her. That for me was making magic. I had never seen anything like that in my limited three years of experience. I stood transfixed watching the woman use her brush to put dabs of color on a canvas and make a picture until my mother pulled me along to where ever it was we were going on that warm summer day. The fact that I still remember this, more years later than I want to divulge, is clear that I was inspired by a person making art.
I’m inspired by all the arts and especially the ones I can’t do like create music. I am most inspired by listing to live jazz. I can’t make music but I can dance to it. I’ve heard live concerts of musicians Oscar Peterson, Keith Jarrett, Tania Maria, Ella Fitzgerald, Betty Carter, Jimmy Smith, Milt Jackson and many other known and lesser know musicians. Some of these are not among us now but their music can be heard, even if not in their presence. When I have been fortunate to hear their live music I was inspired beyond words, leaving me with a feeling of awe and energy that lasted for a long time after the concert.
Artists and nature have always inspired me to make my own art. It is the process of making that is the reward more than the end result. Probably that is why I enjoy the process of cooking – rearranging or transforming raw materials and turning them into something to nourish, enjoy and to share with others.
3. I Ching
By consulting I Ching I’ve been inspired to take a direction, follow a path, or just be quiet and make more art that again has the inspiration of nature behind it, distilled through symbols over eons of time. The I Ching is a philosophy based on the elements of nature and evolved over centuries through the collective unconscious. Musicians, physicists, mathematicians, artists, writers and many people of various gifts have been inspired by I Ching and some how breathed out in new from what they had taken in.
The I Ching was the first computer – a binary system – which leads me to my next big inspiration.
4. The Internet
I am inspired by the Internet which is the best thing that has evolved out of human nature since the discovery of fire. I’m inspired by the fact that I have connected in meaningful ways with people all over the world of other languages and of varying ages. People from my past show up out of the blue that never would have happened before the Internet.
Most of all I am inspired to work on my own I Ching interpretation through art and words because now I can put it on the Internet for anyone to see who may be interested.
I include here one of my images inspired by I Ching that I use this at the top of the blog and plan to use as the cover for I Ching Meditations should I be fortunate enough to be able to complete it.
This aritcle is part of a Blog Carnival Sumission which can be found HERE.