It’s been awhile since I’ve posted about what I’ve Toasted, so sitting down to share with you, Inspiration is the what I’ve been thinking about and here’s why.
This spring as Peter and I have been gearing up for our first Through the Wilderness, LLC production- a short action film about a Native American cop who is forced to deal with her feelings around miscarriage, motherhood, and justice when a dying hooker leaves her baby in her garage (btw, I LOVE this story but that’s a different posting) – I find myself attempting to develop a business mind while watching for the obstacle to my creative work that I fear this business mind will create.
I get that might not happen and perhaps this is just the work of my critic taking advantage of the change in my life to whisper more shit in my ear. I get that. Yet, the reality is, the time I spend researching to understand…franchise taxes, accounting practices and deal memos and marketing strategies, is all time that I’m not writing. And let’s be clear, before all this other business in my life, getting to the page to just write was hard enough to begin with. Sometimes.
But before I can go to the page, I need to be inspired, so what is that and where is it?
I’m at my messy desk, in my robe, blanket wrapped around my feet- yes, this is the glamourous life, and I ask myself where is that inspiration. I look to books next to me. The Quran, Jon Kabat-Zinn Full Catastrophe Living, Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko, my bills to be paid, my bowl of nail polishes, crayons and greeting cards, The Ten Indian Commandments on my wall, my empty bowl that held oatmeal and berries, my now cold cup of green tea. Then I hear the birds outside. The hummingbird that flutters to my window and peeks in at me in the mornings has arrived. Outside my window beyond the bush, I see the new bistro size patio table and chairs, the big bright yellow and white umbrella, the expansion of my office. Then my mind travels outside our gate and down the street. The sky soft blue (yes, under the LA smoggy haze but stay with me here…smog is an inspiration, too, different post, different story), the palm trees create a landscape so different than home in MN, which I now see in my mind, the big oaks, the flat farmland alongside the highway to my mom’s, the tall cedars along the North Shore, all so different than…awww…there it is- the places I’ve traveled this year, the people I’ve seen, the voices and languages, songs and food. O yes, the food. But there’s more that inspires me.
The last couple months have been filled with great joys and opportunities. Celebrations, one after another rolled through my life. In May my daughter, Bird, graduated from college in San Francisco. Family met us in Santa Cruz for beach time, for little girl laughter and salt water taffy on the boardwalk. And in San Francisco, a beautiful city filled with rolling hills and tall skinny houses hugging at the shoulders, I had early morning moments on bagel runs for the family packed into the hotel suites. And in those mornings, with the sun on my face, feeling grateful for love and support, I felt inspiration, too. I did.
I listened to speakers at SFAI send the graduates out into the world with advice. Some was good. Most was daunting, but I saw fresh and slightly frightened young faces eager to run out and show us their world. And at the gallery, I saw my amazing Bird beaming in front of her painting, revealing to us, her family, what she learned about herself at school. And I was inspired by the depth of her creativity, by the young woman she’s become.
For her graduation gift, we took her to Tokyo. Yes- we are able to travel like that. A blessing beyond our wildest dreams. While there, oh, the sounds and smells. I was often overwhelmed but yet, I had moments of sheer joy, moments of being deeply awe-struck by beauty, like in Kamakura, the tiny beach village where the huge statute of Buddha lives.
While there, we walked to the shore. And standing on the “other side of the Pacific” while Peter waded into the water, I looked to my daughter and nearly fell over with love and admiration. The three of us inspires me. Our family in MN and across the country inspires me. Our journey that got us from the the tiny, poor little places we lived in while Bird was a baby, to that moment on the Japanese beach, inspires me. Yes. the memories will keep inspiring me, will keep my creativity alive.
So, the Toast! is to Inspiration whether it’s from the photos on the desk, a song on Spotify, the wee bird at the window, or a breeze that invokes a memory, inspiration is all around me. And my wish for you is to be inspired by what’s in your life, what’s in your heart, what’s in your memories.