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.