The Wind Beneath The Wings
I was conversing with an online friend recently, and he mentioned some upcoming stage performances he was planning and how he was looking for more inspiration. Now I don’t know whether the inspiration he was looking
for was specifically about content, or perhaps a mixture of content and context – however, I did offer this observation to our conversation.
Now inspiration can – on the face of it – take many forms.
“You are a great inspiration to me.”
“The feats of our Olympians and Paralympians inspired me to do this.”
“This is such inspiring music.”
“The landscape was so inspiring it took my breath away.”
There’s a curious contradiction with my fourth example and it’s all about what “inspire” means in the physical sense. Inspire and expire – are all really about the breathing cycle; and yet here is a phrase that seemingly describes the landscape as inspiring (causing an in-breath) whilst at the same time saying it was SO inspiring that it took my breath away! Giving and taking away, all at the same time. Now what’s really behind the contradiction is, to my mind, the idea that inspiring is about creating a NEW breath whilst taking away the OLD one.
Just as every new breath is enriching, invigorating, life-giving – and every old one is stale, spent – then inspiration, like that, is about perceiving things in a new way and doing things in a new way. The greater the inspiration, the greater the changes wrought in us.
So for continued quality inspiration, make sure you throw open your windows and doors and allow good clean and fresh air to flow through your life.
The How To
of resonance. Then, there will have to have been something auditory or visual to cause the resonance. People don’t inspire me per se, their actions do. The resonance of my appreciation of people takes place in a different part of me – and I translate and describe it in a totally different way.
When it comes to my being inspired by the things people do, and wanting to put that inspiration into action – I will always go towards the How To. My question is always, “How do they do what they do that inspires me?”
In her latter years my Mum took up painting. It was something she loved as a child and, eventually, she felt she had enough time on her hands to devote to her being an artist. She was pretty good at it – and, through going to classes, reading instructional books etc, she also got very much better at the process. She was – in effect – modelling excellence. After a number of years of painting in a variety of mediums (water colours, oils etc), she happened to start doing copies of certain old masters. And it was here that her modelling of excellence really accelerated.
head in terms of HOW he did what he did. In objective terms her copy was exceptional – and she was inspired to do more copying work as a result. Her copying by modelling the How To of certain artists enabled her to achieve things in painting she had no idea she was either capable of, or would ever be capable of.
I’m a big fan of all works by Turner. One year, as a birthday present, she painted me a small copy of The Fighting Temeraire.
Originally she had doubted her ability to do it; she described his use of light and colour as being so far beyond her capabilities that this was likely to be the present I might never receive! But her quality of modelling of Vermeer was
the template that inspired her to get to grips with Turner. She applied all the same rules of thumb, the similarity of approach, and I duly received my amazing present.
As time went on she did a number of other copies of old masters – mostly one-offs. However, she did four others of Vermeer’s work, which are all exceptional. She had a particular love for, and affinity with, his creative processes. She was on his ‘wavelength’, you might say, and at a very deep level.
It was an amazing success. She loved and admired Monet’s work and, with her faculties intact in terms of the skills of modelling, she duly completed a superb copy much to the delight of the lady who had commissioned the work.
“The Wind Beneath My Wings”.
So, it can be “I can do X, because of you” – even though you can’t do X – because you’ve released something in me I didn’t know I had.”
Or it can be like my Mum and Vermeer, or Monet, “I can do X, because I’ve got right inside How you do what you do.”
that wind of change.
When I’m inspired by music, or a sunset, I can feel that wind of change. They make me want to express the resonance or the wind that I feel, in a way I’ve perhaps not done before. Making that expression is about sharing and passing on the inspiration. When I see someone play an awesome shot I can feel that wind of change. The thing is – I’m not inspired to go out and replicate the shot for myself in whatever context. My expression is to bottle up that wind of change and to share it and pass it on. And by getting inside the mind of the one whose actions I have been inspired by, I can bring more meaning to the wind of change.
Understanding Inspiration can help us to find it because we have a better idea of what we’re looking for. It’s one of those intangibles that we can’t put in a wheelbarrow – and because of its intangibility, the mere act of looking for it might just be the way we’ll never see it – and so know that it’s there.
It is all borne on the wind … which may just be passing through the open doors and windows of your house.
It is all borne on the wind, and if you unfurl your wings …