Monday, April 4, 2011
This World and the Other
Things that are supposed to inspire the adult life are bought, built or birthed. By that standard I am doing nicely.
I bought my house (and am still paying for the privilege), bought my car, bought shoes and clothes (and frequently even wear them- now that has you thinking doesn't it :) I bought furniture to sit on and sleep on and furniture to hold more of the stuff that I bought. I even bought some furniture just to stand there and look pretty. I bought music and books and tickets to plays. I bought food and stuff to keep it warm and other stuff to keep it cool. It's safe to say that I have bought my fair share of stuff.
But has any of it inspired me?
Yes. If your definition of inspire is to provoke someone to do something than I have had many inspiring purchases that made me spend money. If only my husband could understand how truly inspired I was at the time.
But this is not the inspiration I speak of.
Other things I have built.
Suffice to say they have been more inspiring.
I built a teaching career, a marriage and many friendships. I have built the right to speak in certain circles, the right to be taken seriously and, my personal favorite, the right to get in a boxing ring and smack other girls.
Did all this building inspire me?
Yes, if you definition of inspiration is to stimulate a particular feeling.
There are plenty of feelings when I step into a boxing ring. Plenty of feelings when she eyes off against me. Plenty of feelings when my husband yells out "Smack her!" from the side lines.
But even this is not the inspiration I speak of.
Then there are those things in my life that I have birthed. Two of them are tucked up in their beds right now, the littlest sucking his thumb loudly.
I have birthed a mother, birthed the woman I want to be for my children and husband, and birthed a new sense of self after life changing news. All these things have turned my face to both the sun and stars and made me look at the comings and goings of life with new eyes.
But have they inspired me?
Yes, if the sum of who I am is a mother, a wife or even a woman. Yet I have found it is rarely inspiring simply to be. My sons' inspire me in the way their father inspires me, and yet there is more.
What inspires the inner part of me, the part that searches to express herself, the part that wants inspiration to take her into moonlight writing hours fueled by something inside that won't let go is very simple, and always with a good dose of the fantastical.
My definition of inspiration is that which draws wings upon you back. It is that which smells like a rose to you and you alone and promotes a creative expression of who you are and the unique world that wraps around your life.
I am inspired by the thought of stepping into a puddle and being sucked down into another world, by stones that look hard and round as they should, but would squeal if picked up or squeezed. I am inspired trees that make me believe they could reach out their gnarled hands and draw me close.
I am inspired by Lego ships that my son and I build and the wars we know will fly off into and by the smell of my youngest son's hair, imagining what flavor it would be if it were ice cream. I am inspired by my husband's hand on my shoulder as we dance to no music but the sounds of all the songs we have listened to over the last 12 years. In my mind I can see the notes as they spin around us, I feel the light of the street lamp as it invites itself into our living room, a friendly visitor that says nothing and sees nothing. It is there only that we might see in the semi darkness.
These are the true inspirations of my adult life. It is not so much what is in this world, but the depth and fullness of my reality and how it invites out of this world imaginings. The sum of which are the expression of everything I am. Now that is inspiration.
What about you? What does inspiration mean to you and why?