Is inspiration that which has accompanied us through
life and given us solace or is it drawn from the pebbles
we have picked up along the way? For me it has probably
been both. The one peg I can always hang my hat on is
light in all its glorious forms, beating down on us like a
sledge hammer or just the merest whisp of starlight
drifting down from a cloudy midnight sky. The stark light
of the first rays of the sun disguising the normal colour palette
of the landscape
or the last afterglow on a twilit world. Refracted light
from ice clouds, rainbows in the sky or in a dewdrop
on a blade of grass. Light in all its forms, including its
total absence I find an inspiration for creativity, be it
painting or throwing a pot, with light defining its shape.
The same applies to sculpture, light lends form.
When I was thrown in head first into the English
language at the age of 13 and had to learn it by myself
in a foreign country by being dropped into school at
mid-year just two weeks before exams, never having
studied Latin and faced with translating from one
unknown language into another, I was rather proud to
achieve my 3%! It took some 3-4 months for me to raise
my head above water and, with the help of L.M. Montgomery
and Anne's love of long words as well as the sea stories of
Joseph Conrad, both found in the school library, I gained
the first building blocks, later to be augmented by G.B.Shaw,
Shakespear, Oscar Wilde and all the other classics. At one
time the Oxford Book of English Verse was my constant
companion with Chaucer in the original as bedtime reading.
On the other side of the path I gathered up James Thurber,
O'Henry, Mark Twain, Steinbeck and the delightful Ogden
Nash. You can tell that my pockets were rather weighed
down by this time and yet there was room in them for a
like compendium of German Literature as well as my
Latvian heritage.....and then came the Australian Poets:
Henry Lawson, Banjo Patterson and all the others.
All these pebbles have been rubbed to a well loved shine
and are a part of me. Should you ask me who the most
inspirational person in my life has been, there can only be one
and that is my wonderful mother who kept what was left of
our family together through flight and famine and emigration,
could write a sonnet whilst cooking a meal, worked hard
all her life and remained a true philosopher and inspiration
not just to me but others of my generation who recently,
20 years after her death still wrote articles about her smile
and tolerance which have affected their lives as well.
The Weaver of Grass suggested we write of our inspiration,
never having thought about if much before, it was also a revalation
to me. Click on Weaver to visit other stories.