Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Inspiration Wednesday

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.


  1. I find much inspiration in the morning light too.
    your post is a sweet ode to your mom, may she rest in peace.

  2. I'm supposed to be commenting on your "watery" post - but read this one as well and am so glad I did! I always enjoy your way with words in your posts - and after reading your list of writers and poets that were important in your development in English I now begin to understand! Keep inspiring the rest of us, please!

  3. What great thoughts and words. You are so clever to be so good at English. Your mother must have been a strong and intelligent woman and Australia is lucky to have your family make it their home.
    I agree with your thoughts on light.

  4. brilliant! image and commentary!

  5. Oh what a beautiful post, Arija! I share your love of light, on the most beautiful flowers, dramatically in the sky, and also shining on ordinary everyday items transforming them.

    Your mother must have been such an inspiration - what a lovely moving tribute to her.

  6. Hello Arija,

    Just visiting via Weaver. Love your photos of the foxgloves and frosted leaves. Light does do wonderful things that most of us would simply take for granted. I admire the way you embraced all those literary works and your acquisition of language.

  7. Loved you thoughts on light, as well as your pictures. I see words have been the staff of life to you too. :)

  8. Your photographs are wonderful - you capture the light beautifully!

  9. Hi Arija;) I'm always inspired by your words under your photos. Now I see why: when I read the list of writers you've learnt [English]from and that from your teens. Thanks for another beautiful post. (((Hugs))) Jo

  10. Loved your thoughts about light
    I would be so happy if you wanted to use any of my photos for ideas or anything.
    you life seems a very remarkable one.
    Greetings from New York.

  11. I enjoyed reading your post today. I shall be noticing light more keenly after reading this post! Many thanks.

  12. As a painter, I love light, but my favorite is the warm glow of autumn with it's intensity.

    Your Mother sounds like a wonderful woman. She was the glue that held your family together. I see where you get your talent.

    Thank you for sharing an intimate view of your life with us.

  13. A joy to read, Arija. I am so pleased I thought of this meme - reading all the responses has been a revelation - and the response has been great. Thank you so much for joining in.
    I too love Anne of Green Gables - I went to LM Montgomery's home a few years ago and that brought it all to life. I still pick it up and read it again, particularly if I am a bit low in spirits.

  14. This is so lovely, Arija - it brought tears to my eyes. You always plumb the depth both with your photos and your words. I believe you are an inspiration to many.

  15. Marvelous post as always, Arija! And you do inspire us with your words, your beautiful photos. Please do continue!

  16. Your post is so beautiful, verbally and pictorially. I am ashamed that I am not as well read as you when I have only ever spoken English all my life and never had to start again in a foreign country. Your mother was obviously a very special person and a wonderful woman.

  17. I hope you always have light in your heart to inspire you. x

  18. The 3rd picture is exceptional.

  19. Greetings from Wales, UK. Thank you for an amazingly heart-rending post. I love the sea, and few people capture it better than Conrad. Inspiration Wed. has certainly uncovered many treasures.

  20. Another one on Weaver's wonderful trail.
    Very beautiful and gentle words.

  21. I had no idea that you are Latvian or that you had been through so much. Kudos to you for all that reading and surviving you did. You have a mastery of language now! What an inspriational story. I am so glad I stopped by today!

  22. A very beautiful & inspiring testimony of you and your mother...
    The very best to you ~Maria

  23. You've come a long way, Arija, geographically, linguistically, and all the rest. So many obstacles and you and Mum climbed over them all.
    Thanks for this inspiration.

  24. What beautiful testament to your mother's influence in your life. My heart in your words, as you carried those books close to your body and heart-a refuge, a salvation, a bridge to who you already were but needed to discover. You mother definitely alive, in you and in your daughters and grandchildren. Eternally.
    Beautiful post, Arija!

  25. What a wonderful post, Arija and so beautifully written. I so admire your skills. I share your love of light too, every day I see it's beauty in rainbows, dew, in flowers and I photograph it when I can. Such a moving tribute to your mum too. Lovely.


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