The subtle threads of inspiration

I was ‘inspired’ to write this blog by my good friend Matt Jelfs who is a wizz with a photographic camera. He just posted some beautiful photo’s (above picture as an example!) on Facebook with an explanation that he is “not that inspired with the camera of late.” No inspiration?!  Maybe they just appeared spontaneously out of the ether!

It got me thinking about inspiration and what it means to me personally. Last week I wrote a blog about my own struggles around being a dad, which was spurned out of a moment of pure frustration. What I was feeling when I wrote the blog had nothing to do with what I usually consider to be inspiration, I just wrote about what was happening in my experience at the time. I was surprised I even wrote it at all. In that moment I felt totally awful and not only uninspired, but uninspiring. I just felt like a useless sack of ‘you know what’ who had nothing of value to share; an embarrassing failure. But an unknown avenue opened up in my mind and said: “just write about it, you’ve got nothing to lose”. I was able to channel the frustration into writing the blog, and it flowed right out of me, like pure inspiration tends to do. It was a kind of cathartic self-revealing of something that I generally wouldn’t want people to know about. For me personally it’s one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever written, because of a few different aspects: the process itself was liberating, it has been by far my most popular blog in terms of people reading it and the people really seemed to connect to it and responded very directly to me with comments. Not what I had expected…although if I think back I was definitely inspired, but not in the way I usually relate to inspiration.

There are many people that channel their pain and suffering into art, but it’s never been the way for me. I get excited by electric inspiration, by the winds of spiritual insight and energetic expression, like dance or inspired conversation. I’ve never really thought about how inspiration is so different for each and every one of us before, but it seems to be totally dependent on our particular make up as a human being, and the philosophy that drives us. But is there maybe also something more primary, that we all share. I’m starting to see that in some way inspiration is always there, it just doesn’t appear in the guise I am used to recognising it. It seems to take more subtle eyes, a curios mind and an open heart. Every time I sincerely follow a thread of inspiration, in whatever form it comes, it leads me somewhere I hadn’t planned to go…this blog included!

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