Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ingredients of Inspiration

Recently I received a comment from a reader who was intrigued to know where I come up with my post entries. The response immediately popped into my head: Life. They come from life.

It’s like a big pot of stew that has grown from being awake to and aware of what is all around me. Adding elements from the smallest raindrop to the most profound quote, pulling from past experience and present moment. Things start to bubble and stir. There is musing and pondering until all of a sudden “pop” and the words fall onto the paper with my hand only an instrument.

It hasn’t always been this way for me. In fact, I have lived most of my life in a pretty structured and linear state. But once I started noticing all that is around me, I couldn’t seem to stop. There is always something to see or hear or experience. I could barely get through my walk the other day, because I was so mesmerized by raindrops. Teeny tiny drops. Millions. Trillions of them lined up along the evergreen branches and the naked limbs of winter. There they sat, just like stories waiting to be told. Which one will drop off the branch and onto the page?

Often times, it is in the writing that the words unfold. "I write to discover what I know." -- Flannery O'Connor. Mysteriously, by putting words onto paper, I find myself connected to something that my body and ancestral mind knows and carries, but my human brain couldn’t quite wrap around.

Being in nature, I know I am part of something greater, and everything down to the tiniest grain of sand or merest drop of water is part of the same thing. And so, instead of pushing the image away or ignoring it all together, I pause and ponder and become aware. I stir it into the pot that is uniquely me. This new ingredient changes who I was only a moment before which can be kind of scary, but I want to know the flavor of right now.

In this moment, I put these words out into the universe, knowing you perhaps will add a word or comment that I hadn’t considered and it will become something new. The ingredients come in a variety of measures. Stirring them in is daring. It's scary. It’s intriguing. It's a bottomless stew of inspiration - with enough to go around for everyone!

What are your ingredients for inspiration?

11 comments:

Maureen said...

I always enjoy reading others' responses to the kind of question you received. Yours is excellent.

I'm often asked this question about my poetry: How do you do it?

I offer a similar answer: By living. By being. By experiencing. By writing.

There's nothing mechanical about it.

I consider my writing ability a gift and because I think gifts should be shared, I started my blog, Writing Without Paper. I never seem to lack for something to write about. And writing gives such pleasure!

Tess said...

Yes, life too, and I'm very undisciplined in my blog posts, I never plan them in advance. I often find that a title will pop into my head and I think "what's that about" and start writing then find out what it's about.
I suspect that when I get blocked it's because I'm trying to be too clever and structured - I don't have loads of academic learning and my posts are best when they come from my heart.

The Pollinatrix said...

This post! You! And my other blogging friends. These conversations do so much to inspire me, and I feel incredibly blessed to have connected with what feels to be just the right people.

It's the synchronicity, the interlacing. When some word or image or idea starts popping up in different places, I get very inspired, because what I enjoy doing is drawing connections, examining the relationships between things, building bridges, making collages - whether with images or ideas through words.

Abbey of the Arts said...

I love this: "I could barely get through my walk the other day, because I was so mesmerized by raindrops. Teeny tiny drops. Millions. Trillions of them lined up along the evergreen branches and the naked limbs of winter. There they sat, just like stories waiting to be told. Which one will drop off the branch and onto the page?" I felt exactly the same way yesterday on my walk, I kept stopping to point out the glimmering jewels on every branch. I love the image of each one containing a story ready to splash upon a page. For me inspiration comes from nature too, good friends (like you), reading, paying attention, reflecting. xo C

SUNRISE SISTER said...

The inspiration ingredients? Oh as you said, from life, from the experiences I have every day. Trying to get too clever seems to place a big eraser smudge in the middle of a thought - you know the kind that shows the error more than cleans the page for a new thought. This stew of which you write this morning is savory!!

xoxo

lucy said...

oh, there are so many wonderful, creative minds gathered right here! sounds like synchronicity and keeping our eyes open is the main ingredient of inspiration.

how many of us were trained that planning, organization, rules, etc. were the key to success? hmmmm. perhaps there's another post there.

nonetheless - thank you each, maureen, tess, polli, christine & ss, for being such delightful additions to my personal stew :-)

xoxoxo

Karen said...

It comes from so many places, but most often, it comes when I'm REALLY paying attention. When I begin to notice a pattern, a theme, cropping up in my life. And then, having noticed, when I encourage myself to sit with it, letting it roll around my head. And then, THEN sitting with pen to paper, allowing the words to come out sans censor.

What I find especially thrilling is when my patterns and themes show up in others' lives, in others' blogs. I feel like we're all part of the whole, then--that we're all reaching for the same thing.

Oh how wonderful.

And how wonderful your writing--your imagery is STUNNING!

hmmbrd said...

I just want to 'soak' in your beautiful words for awhile. Really lovely, water focused stuff. It's like i've had a cool misting this morning. Gorgeous!
I have found sitting in meditation/prayer is my first place of connecting. It is the discipline i have needed to 'discover what i know'. i will stir in more nature and more writing to see what happens. Thanks for all your words and time you take to share with us.

lucy said...

karen - i can so relate to what you've said here. especially "letting it roll around in my head". and, the synchronicities... love it!!! also, thank you for your gracious words re: my writing.


ahh, hummingbird - i, too, feel as though dipped in a cool fresh spring as i read your beautiful words. mmmmmm. miss you. (almost typed "mist" you :-) xooxxo

Anonymous said...

Just a note to say that on Sunday the jewels of tiny raindrops also whispered to me. I think of them as tiny lights, shimmering even though the sunlight these days is very dim. Little lights of love encasing the barren tree branches, saying, "Here is what I want you to do this spring....get ready to blossom and bloom."

You are part of my inspiration. Also, nature, family, friends, memories and life. Shalom, Laura

lucy said...

laura - your words inspire me, also. yesterday morning i noticed how much those little raindrops of light reminded me of the twinkling christmas lights still hanging in the neighborhood. i love those tiny glimmers of light (whether nature or electrical) that add some brilliance to these days when "the sunlight is very dim." peace to you, my friend.