19 February 2010

Breathing Life into Life

Photo by me.

What does it mean, really, be inspired by something? Is it that unnameable thing that draws us to a place or a work of art or a song, that things that makes us say, "I want to do that", or "I want to be like that"? Is it what plants ideas and excitement and dreams into our heads and hearts? Until I was challenged to really explore inspiration, I sort of assumed I knew what it meant even while not quite being able to define it. Before you read on, please take a moment and consider: what does inspiration mean to you?

Here is what Merriam-Webster has to say about it:
1 a : to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration b : to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on
2 a archaic : to breathe or blow into or upon b archaic : to infuse (as life) by breathing
The first definition - the second part, anyway; I'm not so sure that the first fits in this context - seems to make sense. The second definition, however, simply thrills me. "That painting inspires me - it breathes life into me." What poetry! I absolutely love the thought that the things that inspire me are the things that give me hope, that give me passion and drive and which by very definition "breathe life" into my being.

What things, ideas, and people breathe life into you? I challenged you all the way back in August to make a list of things that inspire you. Can you remember those things, and have you added to your list since? Please, share! Below is my very own lengthy and ever-growing collection of all the things - ordinary and extraordinary - that inspire me and thrill me and breathe life into my life! Are you prepared?

Here goes: bold color; twirly skirts; bare feet; the first warm day of spring; traveling; writing; other artists; lightning; wind; new projects; trees; animals - elephants and birds especially; children; flowers - peonies and roses and lilacs; the smell of oranges, freshly mown grass, and summer rain; the stars; music; languages; cameras and photography; blue skies; culture; philosophy - thoughts and questions and searching for bigger things; musicals; random acts of kindness; sweet words and compliments; belly-aching laughter; fluffy clouds; confident, strong women; the ocean; dancers; sunrises; sweet old movies; vocal jazz crooners - Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday; fairy lights;

Snail mail; hot showers; shooting stars; Vivaldi; beautiful quotes; sunlight; Europe; the sound of a cello; dollhouses; delicious hugs and kisses from my special someone; birds singing; new blank journals; wind chimes; handmade things; sock monkeys and other stuffed beings; vintage jewelry; bras that fit; independence; reassurances;
Waldorf things; beautiful names; mixed media paintings with lots of layers; finding cheap flights; candlelight; the month of May; down comforters; rainy days; bookstores; so very many blogs; typewriters; love, love, love!

Smile, dance, and embrace life, for it is wonderful and grand and filled with such beautiful things. Have an inspired, sparkly weekend, my dear friends!


Brandi said...

I love your lists; they made me smile. I've started keeping lists of things I'm interested in studying and writing papers on. I know it may sound dull, but it's helped me so very much. I nearly was ready to drop out of my Ph.D. program, so knowing what topics I love, that I want to write about, helps immensely.

Lianne said...

I will definitely make such a list! Yours is lovely!

Great blog post!

Ingrid said...

Brandi, that's a brilliant idea! Professors should definitely suggest that to their students ~ I'm sure everyone has that moment where they stare at a blank page and think, "Now what?"


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