How do you make inspiration’s acquaintance?

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Kuzeytac

According to Webster, it’s “the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions.”

I believe there are two ways to find inspiration.

One, is to actively cultivate it; surround ourselves with inspiring things and people; see the inspirational value of everything around us.

The other, is to chance upon it; allow it to come to us, unexpectedly, spontaneously, when it wants to make an appearance.

I seem to belong to the latter attitude.

It’s not that either way is better, it’s that my style is to allow flow to envelop and engulf me.

Sometimes, my inspirational moments make me laugh, and other times, they make me cry.

Sometimes, they prompt me to grab a pen and paper and write whatever inspiration whispers in my ear.

And other times, inspiration guides me to let an idea marinate; to allow it to stew for a while before taking the next step.

However, favoring a laissez-faire attitude doesn’t mean I don’t feel the need to actively search for inspiration some days.

You know which days; the kind of days where you feel the mundane things of life are going to swallow you whole and you need a little “somethin’ somethin'” to get you through the madness.

In moments like these, I visit my friend Corinne,at her blog, Everyday Gyann.

Cause this lady is a source of inspiration if there ever was one.

Reading her blog leaves me feeling uplifted and renewed.

She is currently devoting Fridays to capturing a moment.
A single photo-no words-capturing a moment from the week.
It is a ritual inspired by SouleMama and introduced to her by Sarah Jane of Almost There.

Visiting Corinne’s blog two weeks ago, I was inspired by her post “This moment” but lack of time prevented me from participating.

This week, however, it’s different.

Did I look for a moment that inspired me or did I chance upon it?

Walking with Roxy two days ago, I came across this scene.

No people.
Just a table and chairs.

However, looking at them, I didn’t just see a sitting area.

Instead, this scene inspired me to think of family gatherings, friends sitting down to have an afternoon coffee, girlfriends getting together to drink wine and talk about life, and children gathering around the table, singing “Happy Birthday,” a cake between them.

It inspired me to think of grandmothers knitting in the afternoon, while sipping their low tea, men sitting in a group, talking about whatever men talk about, a cold beer in hand, adolescent girls performing manicures on each other, giggling and talking about boys, and a family, sitting down to dinner in the fresh, afternoon air.

Who would’ve thought a table and chairs had the power to inspire such images; to invoke such emotions, which I still feel as I type this.

Perhaps there is inspiration all around us.
Perhaps we don’t have to cultivate or chance upon it.
Perhaps inspiration already lives inside of us, waiting for us to make its acquaintance whenever we want.

I ask SouleMama forgiveness for not making this a wordless post.

If she knew me, she’d know this is almost impossible for me to do.

That said, this time, inspiration pleaded with me to give it a voice; to explain what it was about.

And what can I say?

There are some things I simply can’t resist.

When was the last time you made inspiration’s acquaintance?


76 thoughts on “How do you make inspiration’s acquaintance?

    1. Amber, I’m delighted this post has inspired you to take photos. And given you take fantastic photographs, we’re in for a treat when you post them! :)

  1. This was inspirational :-) Truly though. This kind of thing happens a lot to me, and I’m sure other writers and creative types feel the same. It’s how we see the world. I love the vision that this table and chairs inspired in you!

    I get inspired a lot when I’m out walking, either by myself or with my dog. Those are the times when my head and heart are really open to whatever comes in. My children inspire me a lot too. All the beautify in the world can’t help but inspire us!

    1. Michael Ann, I’m with you! I truly believe we are open to inspiration all the time if we so allow it. I love how you say that your children inspire you. That is beautiful. Every mother should be able to say that! :)

  2. —Bella,
    I just adore you. ;)
    So inspiring & beautiful you are….
    Not long ago as I was walking w/ my sister, Kay; we observed ugly, horrible, stinky weeds (All yellowed & dead) but in the midst of the decay, there was one single yellow daisy! We were both in awe. My heart leapt. Beauty in the core of ugliness.
    Xx Have a nice weekend, Dear. Xxx

    1. Kim, you and Kay’s ability to see beauty in the midst of decay speaks of your extraordinary value as human beings. Bless your heart. The image you’ve painted has served to put a big smile on my face. Thank you for that! Love you, girl! Have a great weekend! :)

  3. heart, Bella, just heart. I’m one of those people who attempt to be inspired by flooding my surroundings with pretty things. Does it work? sometimes. Your posts area always inspirational for me. Your photos inspire me to look and not just see my surroundings. Reading your prose is very uplifting and makes me think about how I can look at past experiences in a different light. I’m not saying this to brown nose or anything (not like you’re giving me an A or what not) I truly mean it! Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Laura, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, your comments make my heart sing! Thank you fo much for your ever present kind words. I love that my posts serve to inspire you. As a matter of fact, I love it so much that I’m doing the happy dance as I type this! Have a fun weekend, lady! :)

  4. Ah, I love this. That table and chairs is a lovely area to think of spending time with friends and family. Lately I have been surrounded by a lot of sad stories of death, particularly young people who are gone before they had a chance to make a dent on the planet. I have had to dig deep for inspiration, but miraculously it appears. I guess it is always within our grasp, but this is a wonderful reminder. Thank you! Now I shall check out the blogs you mentioned. They are new to me.

    1. Annie, I’m so glad that in the midst of so many sad situations you have been able to find inspiration. But I don’t expect anything else from a brilliant writer like you! I think you will truly find inspiration in Corinne’s blog. Drop by and you’ll see! :)

    1. Paz, Roxy and I are grinning at the sweetness of your comment! Thank you, friend! And by the way, your photos serve to inspire me as well! That last one of the animal blessing is my favorite! I simply loved that post! :)

  5. Well, since I am a bit of a tart, I offer my muse a drink and other favors in exchange for word magic. As a story whore (admitted) I am always looking and listening, although I don’t know if where I am in any moment is going to yield the magic my heart craves. I don’t need much to unfold something, but I do need a shimmer of possibility. I find being creative is a habit, just like exercise is, and to keep myself primed, I must feed that part of my brain with music, works of all kinds, faces and hands intrigue me. I DO NOT watch the news, well I watch it without the volume so I can monitor the weather. Corrine and Sarah’s blogs are a treasure trove. I think, but not sure, I’ve visited Soulmama, but need to confirm. You always inspire, Miss Bella

    1. Brenda, I loved reading how you tempt Tobias to provide you with words! I love it! And I love how you feel that being creative is like a habit–a good one. Lovely words, Ms. Brenda. You never cease to amaze me. :)

    1. Uzma, hello and welcome! I’m delighted you like the post! And I agree–love and inspiration creep up on us when we least expect them to.

    1. Savy, that’s what I thought! It was as if the table was laying in wait for people to occupy their places. My sentiments exactly! :)

  6. A beautiful post! I really enjoyed this. So often we just need to ‘stop and simmer.’ If we did we’d have more lovely defining moments such as the one you wrote about here. There’s so many possiblities in a picture isn’t there? Have a great weekend! Elizabeth.

    1. Oh Elizabeth, how right you are! If only those stop and simmer moments took place more often than they do! Something tells me that if this were so, our lives would be so much easier. I’m so happy you liked the post! Have a great weekend, friend!

  7. I’m in the ‘inspiration-sneaks-up-on-me-and-hits-me-over-the-head’ school. Like you, a single picture can do that for me. A simple snapshot of life. Thank you for sharing. I will see that table and chairs in my mind for a very long time!!! It’s a good thing . . .

    1. Dianne, it is a good thing! Being from the “inspiration sneaks up on me” school, I cherish little scenes like this one. Simple as it is, it has the power to inspire. Incredible, right?

  8. Right now there’s quite a stew simmering in my mind. The table and chairs remind me of the dear friend I lost this week. The two of us had dinner on Friday nights for as long as I can remember. We sat around and talked shop for hours on end, either discussing poetry or trying to solve the world’s problems. I think that someday I’ll write a novel about her eccentric life – for she was the most eccentric person (besides me) I’ve ever known. All those unique things about her have been simmering in my mind this week.

    1. Debra, I’m so sorry for your loss. The idea of writing a book about your friend sounds amazing. What a beautiful tribute to someone who held such a dear place in your heart. Let those thoughts about her simmer, friend. Sometimes, the best way to grieve is by remembering the times spent together. Hugs to you.

  9. I love the photo… it invites you in. Beautiful. I try to surround myself with inspirational things, but for me, it seems that inspiration sneaks up on me. I’ll work and work at something, getting frustrated when I can’t make it right. Then I go do something else, like walk or garden, and everything settles into place. Such a relief.

    1. Thank you, Shary! I love your style! I have to follow your example and walk or work off frustration until I reach a more tranquil state of mind. At times I feel my perseverance is unhealthy and like you mention, there are times it’s best to let the dust settle. Thank you, lady!

  10. That table and chairs scene inspired me to go into the kitchen and cook. Thanks, Bella! I needed that little bit of inspiration to get me moving… Lovely.

  11. Bella, I need to cultivate a state of mind which fosters creativity. One way is my morning stare, another is reading, and yet another is silence. The silence thing makes me a bit of a freak. As in, I don’t watch TV. Ever. Except when I’m falling asleep at night. The background noise of a TV makes me INSANE. I can’t stand it. That’s at the top of the list why I don’t think I could live with anyone. Or why no one would want to live with me. Who the hell can’t stand the noise of a TV…ever? No one I know. So yes, I know what works for me. It just puts me out of synch with the rest of the world. Thanks for a great post.

    1. June, I suspected from your staring at the wall post, that indeed you were the type to cultivate inspiration. I’m not much of a tv watcher unless you count that I watch my favorite series on my laptop through iTunes. I’m with you about the tv noise but for me, it’s the silly commercials. Gosh, I hate those! So no, you’re not out of synch with the world cause I’m with you! Or does that make us two people who are not in synch with the world? :) I’m so happy you like the post!

    1. Ariana, whatever will I do if you ever stop reading my blog! I think a part of me shall die! hee hee! Thank you for your sweet words! :)

  12. Thanks for such great insight and beautiful photos, Bella. You have me inspired to check out SouleMama. I’m always looking for new sources of inspiration. And coming from you, I’m sure it will be wonderful.

  13. Hello from the LBS Tea Party! It’s amazing what can be evoked from the simplest things, if we leave our minds free of clutter. This was a beautiful photo and brought to mind a meeting of friends from over 40 years ago. Thank you, for that. Come visit when you can.

    1. Sharlene, I’m so glad you’re back! And I’m delighted you like the photo and post! Isn’t it funny how a photograph can serve to invoke beautiful memories? I find myself visiting my photo album whenever I’m in the need to relive good times. :) I will drop by your place!

    1. Carol, you are welcome! I enjoyed my visit to your blog! And did I mention those biscuits will be a part of my Thanksgiving dinner? :)

  14. Believe it or not, I am inspired everyday but what I read on blogs (artsy crafty things), hear/read on the news (good news of course) and lastly, the weather! Sunny day? Get off your derriere and get outside. Bad weather report? Stay in and make cookies. The way I see it, life itself is inspiring. If you can wake up each day and still have full use of your senses, then give silent thanks and enjoy the rest of the day.

    1. I like the wisdom in your words, Rowena! You’ve inspired me, sister! I love how this works. Most of the time, you are inspired by others and like you mention, having full use of our senses allows us to explore the world and learn.

    1. Megan, hello and welcome! Thank you! I think I was in the right mindset at the time. The scene of the table and chairs jump started all these lovely thoughts. :)

  15. I don’t remember. Isn’t that bad? Actually, I do. I was driving home from work this past week, and I noticed the trees beginning to turn. And I thought about the weather – 80 degrees in October in Michigan. Crazy. And I thought, what a perfect fall day. The kind of fall day we imagine fall to be like but the kind of fall day we rarely see. Ever. Sun, warmth, trees ablaze. Absolutely beautiful. Wish I’d have had my camera. Course, then I would’ve been a hazard on the road.

    1. Laura, your last sentence made me laugh! But how wonderful that you were witness to such a scene! It makes you appreciate that we’re alive, doesn’t it? I will take 80 degrees in Michigan during the month of October any day! How absolutely perfect!

  16. Lovely post! I love the stories you wove around the photo. And, I must admit, I covet the patio scene pictured!

    I agree that Corinne is a dependable muse and this is a touching way to honor her.

    1. Linda, you and I both! I can see myself spending many a wonderful afternoon at that table! I’m pleased you like the post! Corinne’s the greatest, isn’t she? :)

    1. Classycareergirl, hello and welcome! Being a coffee addict myself, I must admit that is the first thought that came to mind. I could see myself nursing a cup of espresso, feet up, the sun shining down. Ah, pure bliss! Thanks for dropping by! :)

  17. That is such an evocative photo! I can totally understand how it brought all of those different scenarios to mind. I feel like when i looked at it I instantly projected thoughts of who might sit around it and what they might be doing as well.
    You have some really wonderful photography on your site. Nice to “meet” you.

    1. Saucy B, nice to meet you! Thank you for your lovely words. I’m delighted the photo brought to mind your own scene. Drop by again soon! :)

  18. Stopping by from LBS. Good question you pose. Lately, I have been fortunate that “things just happen” and I get inspired. Sometimes it’s current events- like Steve Jobs passing away (my draft is in a queue) and sometimes it’s simply a change in season- leaves falling. But there is always something going on. Always.

    In the few times that I am not inspired, I have to discipline myself to put something down on a page- no matter how mundane it is. And that’s okay. As long as we keep writing!

    1. Theresa, hello and welcome! I like your philosophy of putting things down on paper in order to keep writing! I find that at times, random jottings is what hatches the best posts! Thanks for commenting! :)

  19. I tend to do both, Sometimes, you just can’t force it no matter how much you immerse in it because there a specific something you want to create that doesn’t quite come every now and again. Sometimes, you have to step out of it all and play with ideas in a different setting. Well, that’s how it goes when it’s not working but otherwise, I do drown myself in a place that I can be a total creative person and thankfully, the family understands the madness now,

    1. I think they understand the madness, Totsy, because of the wonderful things it produces! Your art work is phenomenal and I think they get that at times, you have to do, what you have to do! I agree that we have to step out of our normal setting every now and then to jumpstart inspiration. I have yet to disconver when that’s not true. My trips to Spain always fuel my creativity. The new setting, people, traditions, the sources of inspiration are everywhere! :)

    1. Kirstin Marie, I agree! I love to let my imagination wander and find it’s often when I’m doing the most mundane of things, like standing in line at the bank, for example, when my muse will want to come out to play! :)

  20. Such a fabulous post, Bella! I truly agree with what you’ve said. Wonderful links too – I always find a lot of inspiration when I visit people’s blogs and peruse the web..even checking out catalogs, magazines, or taking a drive or a walk. Always so good to check in with you! Have a lovely fall ahead!

    1. Shirley, hello! I was so excited to see your new post! I’m glad we share the same ways to derive inspiration, especially since as an illustrator, this applies to you as well. I’m always happy when you drop by! Have a lovely fall season as well, lovely lady! :)

  21. Bella, your blog is inspiring. I always feel lighthearted after reading here. I can still remember the coffee revolution you inspired. You have a way of making your readers appreciate the imple things in life.

  22. Oh this was good – both pix, the pansies and the beautiful setting inspire me! I’d been in a dry spell lately and I chanced upon someone (now I don’t even know how I found her”. She asked a question in an excellent post that triggered my lastest post. Usually, tho, it is an oldies song or something that happened around me in life. Like Alpha Hubby and his one-liners.

    1. Oh lady, you gotta love the one-liners! Isn’t it wonderful when a comment or question inspires a post? I find the Significant Other will sometimes comment on a post and suddenly, I have an idea for a new one!

  23. Your pictures are gorgeous ~ I have to go out there, do something or be at my most comfortable place to get my inspirations, and I’m always glad I do. Usually, they can be found in books, the sea, trees and when I freewrite.

    1. Claudine, hello and welcome! I too find the sea is a great source of inspiration. I usually travel to Spain in summer and always bring a notebook with me. It’s amazing to write old school with a pen and paper with the sight of the water and its sound, just a few feet away. I’m delighted you like the photos! :)

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