We all need people actually in our lives to inspire us. That is how to fill your cup. Who does this for you? And how?
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about inspirational people. And I am not talking about famous, abstract people who probably kick their cats when the cameras aren’t around…I am talking about real people, people in our daily lives. I believe that we all need real people, real, present people who inspire us.
That isn’t to say that they are perfect. Better still if they are deeply flawed, but somehow always keep getting up, still trying.
And these words are loaded. You. Inspire. Me.
While you know who you are, the message is universal. Dear Reader, I ask the more general question, who inspires you?
Words can mean so many things. Freedom of interpretation for message sender and message recipient. Pregnant at all times with meaning.
What does ‘you’ mean? What is the essence of you? Which you are we talking about? Is it the ‘you’ I know, or is it the ‘you’ other people know? Is it the ‘you’ I think I know, but actually, when it gets down to it, maybe I don’t. At best, there is aspiration, and sometimes feeling. Can anybody ever do any better?
I’ve told my SO at times that she doesn’t know me, really know me, and she says she does, and at times, she gives little glimpses, little hints, of things she knows. They are allusive hints, and yes, they point to more than rational discussion has covered, but are they knowledge? What exactly does it mean to know someone?
I sometimes feel as if you cannot possibly know me when I do not even know myself. How could you? And it is with that gingerness of feeling that I approach you. I do not wish to assume anything. I do not dare to presume I know you, and at times, to even understand what you meant, because I will get it wrong—as I already have. I can chock it up to tuning. But in truth, the tuning never stops.
The danger is that “you” becomes an ideal. And ideals calcify. That might serve a possessive mind, but I find love for you through letting go. I am just that little boy/girl out on the patch of wildflowers on the lawn, drawing pictures in her mind of bubbles that float and other delicate things that don’t last…and when you see them, pop them, poke them, explore them, I will make more of them, and hope that you delight in them, because they wouldn’t exist without your curiosity. Your gaze is like a searchlight, finding only discovery.
And therefore, ‘you’ is indeterminate, whatever you wish to be, however you present yourself, no Shakespearean “ever-fixéd mark,” no, you are forever you, and not expecting anything different is what makes you, you. For never in my life have I accepted the idea that you could be anything you wanted, under any circumstances, on any day, and I would still turn up and say ‘hi’. And smile.
What is inspiration? Well, according to Wikipedia [please give money to them…even just a little…it is one of the last few “independent corners” of the internet—even a fiver would do], inspiration:
- The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative;
- A sudden brilliant or timely idea; OR
- An unconscious burst of creativity in artistic endeavours coming from the Greek muses or from the Gods themselves.
The Latin roots of the word “inspiration” mean to “breathe into” and I can’t contemplate just how apt that is. How many times have you asked me to breathe? To breathe into something? Oh, the learning has just begun.
The Romantic poets believe that inspiration was Divine and that it came to us because we were made in such a way as to be able to receive the divine “winds”. We are open. This is an idea common to all religions, East and West: inspiration is a gift. And Freud? Well, not surprisingly, he saw inspiration coming from the unconscious mind, and believed that artists were fundamentally wounded. To be wounded is to be open to inspiration, open to the Divine.
The Greeks described inspiration as a kind of ecstasy, a furor poeticus, or poetic madness, and when I think of my experience of love for you, it has been this feeling which has overloaded rational thought. In other words, when I feel ecstasy, I recognise that it is a gift from you—that my own feelings are a gift to me from you.
Inspiration is not an obligation. It is not an expectation. It just is. It is born from essence. It is born from being. It is born from difference, from mystery, and from magic. It exists in the reverie and hypnosis of a look at the folds of the Technicolor Dream Coat. It is the infinite folds of you. The swishing, swirling branches into infinite of the soft coral reef.
It is whoever and however you ever want to be or are. Good or bad.
What is me? Well, gosh. We can be clinical about it. Or we can be metaphysical. Or something else. We can be many things, some of which or whom are impossible to understand.
I wish to be raw. I wish to be ready. I wish to be responsive and warm. I wish to receive you, and to reach out to you.
I wish to learn from you. I wish to miss you. I wish to relish you. I wish to feel you and to feel your absence.
I wish to fly free. I wish to be the colossus that is inside of me, but only seems able to hear your voice. I wish to be grateful to you for calling out, reaching out, teaching, coaxing, encouraging, seducing, and commanding. But most of all, I am most grateful that you just are.
And so, when I say, “You. Inspire. Me.” I really mean it. And that is just the half of it. I feel your inside of me, and I know that great things will come because of it.
You inspire me to be me. You inspire me because of you. You embody inspiration. You inspire, actively, passively, mysteriously, and magically.
And to my dear reader…
Do you have such a person in your life? Do you have several such people in your life? Anyone has the potential. Everyone does. Everyone possess the ability to inspire. If you look for it, you will find it. Might I humbly ask you before the year is over to find in those around you the qualities that inspire. Tell them, thank them…and maybe just maybe, they will take it to heart, and inspire just that little bit more.
And you know what? It’s nice to know that anyone with an internet connection can find this here.