Posts tagged inspiration
Posts tagged inspiration
“Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.” - Henry David Thoreau
This week, I found myself browsing dream symbol sites, looking for clues about what my subconscious might be trying to tell me with its stranger-than-usual presentation of my own legs in a recent nocturnal episode of What’s Really On My Mind.
The meanings of legs in dreams range as widely as dream symbols tend to do, and I’ll admit that I’m still not certain what my subconscious was trying to bring to my attention, but I did particularly enjoy the parting lines of one website, which inspired the doodle above: “Leg dreams may appear when we are learning new things, going through a phase of growth and development, where it can feel like we are learning to walk all over again. But remember, we must learn to walk before we run. And then when we can run, we can learn to fly.”
“Inspiration may be a form of superconsciousness, or perhaps of subconsciousness — I wouldn’t know. But I am sure that it is the antithesis of self-consciousness.” Aaron Copland.
I always have a pile of seemingly unrelated books on my nightstand, usually at least half a dozen, in English and Spanish, whose pages attempt to satisfy a lifelong addiction to library-induced bliss.
My current non-fiction favorite is titled Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art, by Stephen Nachmanovitch and is a book that I would recommend to anyone interested in bringing inspiration into daily living, whether it be through one’s career or relationships, whether one be artist or CEO. Already halfway through, I continue to find gems on every page, and am deeply grateful for Stephen having taken the time to gather these thoughts in such an approachable and uplifting volume.
In a week where inspiration has quite literally been waking me up at night, pulling me again and again to my computer keyboard to tap through the pages of my current novel, I am grateful to be reminded of the power of play in the creative process, of how simply surrendering to that pull profoundly enhances a creation that seems to be dragging me along for the ride, constantly surprising me, continuously expanding beyond any conscious expectations, as long as I just keep typing — and let the muses play.
“Somewhere, beyond space and time, is wetter water, slimier slime! And there, they trust, there swimmeth one, who swam ere rivers were begun. Immense, of fishy form and mind, squamous, omnipotent, and kind.” - Rupert Brooke
Another promotional postcard frolics forward to surf with the hopeful and swim with the stars, bearing a message for curious gars…
“The attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging to belief, of holding on.” - Alan Watts
Lately, I’ve been thinking about holding on and letting go. I’ve been contemplating where I, and many others, cling. We curl our fingers around old emotions, habits, and tenets that we believe are necessary to reach our goals, that we are certain will protect us from suffering or struggling any more than we already have.
Yet perhaps these old beliefs are no longer aids, no longer protections. Perhaps they are unnecessary armor – a knight’s anachronistic, cumbersome chainmail, shielding against swords and lances when we stand before an ocean and simply need to strip down and swim.
What if right now we already have everything we need to attain our success? What if the impediments are not external, are not an obstacle or absence? What if our old griefs, fears, patterns, interpretations, have become anchors holding us back against a tide that could safely carry us forward? What if the things we cling to are the very substance of the binding chain?
What happens when we uncurl our fingers, and let the anchors go?
“Come unto these yellow sands, and then take hands. Courtsied when you have, and kiss’d, the wild waves whist.” - William Shakespeare
I do try to be neutral, to appreciate all of my illustrations with proper parental neutrality, but alas I still succumb to having favorites. My most recent is a project completed under the expert guidance of art director Elizabeth Novack for Inside Counsel magazine’s April issue, to accompany an article on the legal complications involved for passengers aboard January’s Costa Concordia shipwreck off the coast of Italy.
From dozens of ideas to the best three, I found myself journeying through the dark seas of mythical monsters to the floating world of paper boats while I searched for imagery that would convey the article’s topic and its respect for the emotional impact of the legal complications faced by the tragedy’s victims. With the gentle, somber mermaid selected for the final painting, I think we achieved precisely that.
“Springtime is the land awakening.” - Lewis Grizzard
It was only a matter of time, really, that doodling bunnies for the entire Year of the Rabbit would result in a project where they could gambol beyond my sketchbook and this blog. Today I could fill pages with words about the where, the why, the wonderings that led to the creation of “Someone”; however, for now, “Someone” would like to simply speak for itself:
“The rain began again. It fell heavily, easily, with no meaning or intention but the fulfillment of its own nature, which was to fall and fall.” - Helen Garner
It rained a lot this past week, here in San Francisco. It was the warmer rain of spring, nearly pleasant to cycle through as Life rolled me about the streets of the city. It was also an ironic rain, falling from sun-blotting clouds for the first week of daylight savings time.
Rain is a powerful symbol in stories around the world. In those of U.S. culture, it is rarely a joyous omen, but is instead employed to foreshadow difficulties and painful transitions for characters involved. Love of rain is a trait given mostly to unyielding pessimists and naive optimists.
Yet the seeds of our pending summer gardens can only sprout and flourish under appropriate rain. Perhaps we too can only crack the protective casing of our seed-selves when our shells are soaked through, are softened by thorough drenching. Perhaps only then can we emerge to fully greet the sun.