When Inspiration is Elusive

Recently, several of my friends and acquaintances have been writing about their lack of inspiration. As creative creatures, this is something we all go through.  Some more than others, but we all experience creative burnout, funks, or blahs.  Often there is a particular reason.  When there is a definite reason, one can solve the problem by understanding the reason.  When there is no particular reason, just a vague nothingness...it can be more difficult to overcome the absence.

There are several different ways in which I revive creativity.  I'd like to share them with you. I may have mentioned these before, but some things are worth repeating.

Go outside. Go for a long walk or hike. Take your camera, if you like. Take a small, lightweight notebook just in case inspiration hits you like a sledgehammer.  You'll be glad you have pencil and paper to jot down that new idea. 

Find a nice spot to sit and reflect, or sketch.  It doesn't matter if you have drawing skills, sketch an interesting leaf specimen, or a flower, or anything at all.  Sometimes, focusing on a sketch will bring forth revelations and ideas that are completely unrelated to the sketch itself.  This has happened to me countless times.  If time permits, take a picnic and plan to stay a while...

Let go.  Stop thinking about creativity.  Ignore it.  Find time for yourself, do something you love to do.  Be patient.  I promise, it will come back to you.

Do some reading.  Get started on that book you've been meaning to sink your teeth into. Whatever your genre, light reading or deep, thoughtful reading, it is the most wonderful form of escape!  It's like a mini vacation for your mind.  I personally love to read poetry, especially when I'm in a slump.  I just received this beauty in the mail...

I will leave you with an inspirational site that I love to visit: SAIPUA. It's such a beautiful, calming and intelligent place to visit.  With a focus on nature which completely delights my senses.  Speaking of delighting one's senses...

If you are suffering from creative burnout, I truly hope this post will help you in some way.  I know there are many other ways to get over a creative funk, dear hearts.  Perhaps you'd like to share some of your ways of doing so.  I would love that.  

Thank you for visiting, and thank you for being you...xo


Happy Birthday, Little Bro!


{when he was four}

Today is my dear little brother’s birthday.
Little, as in younger, because he towers over me.
Happy Birthday, darling bro!

My brother is a man like no other.
That’s not just a biased opinion.
If you were to ask anyone who knows him, they would all agree.

He is gentle and strong.
Kind and compassionate.
Artistic and talented beyond belief.
Funny and fun-loving.
Adventurous and a homebody.
A gentleman.
Classy and calm.
Quick to offer help to someone in need.
The best listener.
Animal lover extraordinaire.
Handsome and humble.
The brightest light.
A beautiful singer.
A careful driver.
The best fashion adviser.
An exemplary cook.
Treasure hunter.
He has excellent taste when it comes to…well…everything.
The most generous.
A shining star.
The best friend you could ever ask for.
The best brother you could ever ask for.

I love you, Mr. V.


Diving into the Wreck

When I took this photo, I was thinking about this poem. And the woman who wrote it. 
April 12, 2012.

Diving into the Wreck

First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,
and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on
the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers
the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this
not like Cousteau with his
assiduous team
aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.

There is a ladder.
The ladder is always there
hanging innocently
close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,
we who have used it.
it is a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.

I go down.
Rung after rung and still
the oxygen immerses me
the blue light
the clear atoms
of our human air.
I go down.
My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an insect down the ladder
and there is no one
to tell me when the ocean
will begin.

First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful
it pumps my blood with power
the sea is another story
the sea is not a question of power
I have to learn alone
to turn my body without force
in the deep element.

And now: it is easy to forget
what I came for
among so many who have always
lived here
swaying their crenellated fans
between the reefs
and besides
you breathe differently down here.

I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed

the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring
toward the sun
the evidence of damage
worn by salt and sway into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of the disaster
curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.

This is the place.
And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body.
We circle silently
about the wreck
we dive into the hold.
I am she: I am he

whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes
whose breasts still bear the stress
whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies
obscurely inside barrels
half-wedged and left to rot
we are the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course
the water-eaten log
the fouled compass

We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
in which
our names do not appear.
~ Adrienne Rich 
 (May 16, 1929 - March 27, 2012)



The Sound of the Sea
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The sea awoke at midnight from its sleep,
And round the pebbly beaches far and wide
I heard the first wave of the rising tide
Rush onward with uninterrupted sweep;
A voice out of the silence of the deep,
A sound mysteriously multiplied
As of a cataract from the mountain's side,
Or roar of winds upon a wooded steep.
So comes to us at times, from the unknown
And inaccessible solitudes of being,
The rushing of the sea-tides of the soul;
And inspirations, that we deem our own,
Are some divine of foreshadowing and foreseeing
Of things beyond our reason or control.

Yesterday's beach walk soothed me. When I feel a bit tormented or claustrophobic, I go down to the sea. I feel the pull of the ocean. She calls to me. The sea is like nothing else in this world for calming and inspiring my soul. Even if the waves are crashing, the water violent, I still find it to be like a balm. This time of year brings tourists, crowds, chaos, and litter to the beach. But if you keep walking, away from convenient parking and rentals, she's there, right where she always is...my old friend. Peace. Room to breathe. Inspiration.

Yesterday, I found a shell. 
Put it in my pocket.
Brought it home.
This morning, I sketched it.
While I sketched, I thought of yesterday.
Thought of the bounty in my life.
Marveled at my old friend, the ever present sea.


Happy Sunday...

...and if you celebrate this day as a holiday, Happy Easter or Passover.

{Easter past...My Dad}

I'm making some changes to this blog.
It may take a few days (or more) to complete.
So if you visit in the next couple days
and things look wacky, you'll know why.
When it's finished I'll have a giveaway to celebrate.
Yippee skippee!

Much love...xo