Saturday, March 17, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Inspiration

What inspires me? That's what the folks at Sunday Scribblings have asked this week. Certainly not the thought that there is one thing that inspires me. That thought frightens me. Because if I only had one source of inspiration, my fear that it would disappear in the blink of an eye would consume me. The mere fear of its disappearance would cause it to vanish, of course. And then I would be silent. Uncomfortably silent, I suspect. A disquieting quiet, if you will.

I find my inspiration in the ordinariness of the life I live:

I stumble across it in the morning newspaper (which I rarely read in the morning).

I stumble across it in the afternoon local paper or the weekly community paper.

It jumps out at me behind the bushes where the motorcycle cop is hiding to catch the teens failing to come to a complete stop as they encounter their first stop sign after leaving the stifling confines of the high school.

It lurks at the local 7-11, where I see a brochure from the U.S. Marine Corps looking for enlistees from its primary socio-economic class, the class that inhabits the apartments and starter homes in the convenience store’s immediate vicinity.

It spews forth out of my children’s mouths. And it sometimes comes out of their many other orifices.

It appears when the grocery store clerk asks how I’m doing and I respond and offer the same query, and he says, “I’m grateful.” He doesn't say, “I’m great” when I asked, “And how are you?” No, he’s grateful. And inspiration comes to me when I say, in all honesty, “I’ll have to remember to use that.” And he says, “Amen to that. Spread the word.”

It is on the bumper stickers of cars, it is in the spray paint cans wielded by inept-in-their-real-lives vandals, and it is on the corner stop sign hidden by overgrown trees.

And, of course, it is on the billions of pages written by others that are never to be read by me. In libraries, on the Internet, and in the bookstores.

My inspiration is everywhere. Amen to that.


Unknown said...

I love your inspirations!
It is inspiring to me to read all the extrodinary that you recognize in the normal of life.

Regina said...

It's amazing how a bumper sticker can be so inspiring...
Loved it!

Shelley said...

Quotidian inspiration... amen indeed, sister!

(And thank you so much for your kind comment over at But Wait...

Anonymous said...

Terrific post! You're absolutely right - inspiration is in the ordinariness of the lives we lead. All of your inspirations could make for an interesting chapter in a book.

Suzan Abrams, email: said...

You are so right, Patty. Life is too colourful and wonderful for us to settle for just one inspiration, isn't it. And just having that one, would be dead scary. :-)

gautami tripathy said...

"...inspiration is everywhere. Amen to that..."

Amen to that! You post made good reading. Thanks.


LSJ said...

thanks for looking around on my blog and reading! i enjoyed yours as well. inspiration is definitely everywhere!! have a great sunday!

Tammy Brierly said...

How wonderful you see inspiration in the little things. I like "I'm grateful" and plan to use it. Thank you for sharing your inspiration :)

Kimberley McGill said...

I like that you find inspiration in the great and beautiful and well as in the not so great and not so beautiful. Real ordinary life is messy and I love it!

Lucy said...

I really enjoyed your take on this subject! It is so true that we find inspiration Everywhere, if we are wise enough to recognize it! :)

Anonymous said...

Inspiration in daily life..Amen is right!

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