Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inspired by words

{I thought it fitting to forgo photos today, and leave here only words}

Lately I’ve been inspired to create by a lot of things that haven’t been in my artistic world before. For example, the written word.

I’ve loved a well crafted sentence for eons. Lately, I’ve come to love an original story with much gratitude for the transportation it offers. Words, I love too. Phrases and quotes I’ve collected for decades. Poems, I pretend to write, and struggle to understand when penned by others. Lyrics, to music, are always the thing I remember about great songs.

None of this was any part of visual art for me before. And while it hasn’t necessarily been integrated just yet… it’s there in spirit. It’s all becoming part of a whole. (As George from Seinfeld would say) Worlds are colliding. But, in this case, I like it.

I just read this poem by Mary Oliver over at Rubber Soul and I am deeply in love with it. I must find out more about Ms. Oliver.

I just finished the book December by Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop. This one line really caught me. The father is thinking about his daughter who is sleeping in his childhood room during a visit to Grandma’s house. “Her presence up here makes it seem more like a place than a memory.” p.206

Other authors such as Alice Walker, Barbara Kingsolver, Ursula Hegi , Malcom Gladwell, Jon Kabat-Zinn, many many more who have slipped from my consciousness just now.

And speeches… by patriots.. well, honestly they never moved me too much before. I thought the fore fathers were eloquent, even passionate while, in some cases, also being hypocritical. But something happened to me last night, watching the Obama inaugural celebration on HBO. I began, perhaps for the first time in my reasoning adult life, to feel pride in my country. I think that kind of pride has be to earned, over and over, continuously. In my view, we’ve had a huge deficit to make up for. Electing President Barack Obama (or BO as I call him) is something I am so proud of my country for doing. Never in my lifetime did I think a man, an honest, genuine, straight talking man of color could or would become president. Ill spare you the diatribe resting comfortably in my mind and say… it’s oh so surreal.

His words…

We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom, the empathy to understand what it's like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old - and that's the criterion by which I'll be selecting my judges.
Barack Obama
We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent.
Barack Obama

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

Its the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

Its the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America. Barack Obama

And because we, here in the U.S., celebrated his birth only yesterday, and because his primary voice was one of peace AND justice, Martin Luther King Jr. inspires me right now..

At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I realize now how entirely ridiculous it is to try to sum up all that inspires me through the written word in one post. One lifetime of blogging on the subject probably wouldn’t be sufficient. So, I stop here, suddenly, and realizing I’ve fulfilled my goal of merely mentioning this topic, I know it will remain working away in my brain for a some time to come.

5 comments:

Kavindra said...

We share some of the same inspirations! Mary Oliver takes the exact same walk everyday, and yet manages to find something amazing to write about in nature from that walk everyday too. And tho I voted for him, and was happy he won, I hadn't been part of Obama mania (for instance, my friend made her christmas cards, and they were all Obama related.)

Until now, when he's actually stepping into the presidency. It is really amazing and sometimes it moves me to tears. and not just because I live in DC and can't get a seat on metro for all the crowds ;)

sunmamma said...

Beautifully worded!!!

kendalee said...

Hear, hear! words - I love them - and I love how people wield and weave with them. Isn't it incredible that they can be used to create whole worlds, express thoughts and emotions, capture the abstract and the concrete, reach across time and space and touch us...? Just words. Amazing.

I am so reassured by the fact that Barack Obama can use them. Rather than just make them up or slaughter them, like his predecessor!

GREAT post.

Dia said...

yes, yes, yes!
Words, dreams, visions, angel bumps as we have an articulate president (thank goddess!) & play with our own articulation
. . .

daniela said...

i have such enormous respect for people who can link words together in a magical way. i had terrible experiences with english teachers, that kept me from ever exploring my own words on paper. would even avoid writing a work memo because i was so self-conscious. but i went forward into my biggest fear by beginning blogging, and you know, the world didn't stop spinning, and i'm beginning to enjoy the exercise. i think you are wonderful at telling a story, and an inspiration.
oh, and thank you so much for the link rachel :-)