So Brenda is writing a book about glass art. And although I have no true interest in making glass art (high temperatures + me = bad idea) I am intrigued enough to think, heck I would buy this book just to see what it’s all about. But on her blog, she talks a little about inspiration and creativity and the challenges thereof, which made me think, yet again, about what actually inspires me. It’s a question I always want to ask artists and writers and bakers and…well…everyone, but somehow it seems kind of trite and trivial. It’s not, don’t get me wrong, I think we are all inspired by greater things and use them as guideposts to get where we want to be. But some how the question has become so…cheap.
It’s a little embarrassing when I think of what always inspires me. It’s really fandom. But whenever I am feeling a little less than creative, I open a Berke Breathed book. You know him, Bloom County, Outland…all that stuff. And it’s not the strips that really do it. Some are really funny, but I don’t follow Opus in the papers anymore. It’s his art. His line somehow has always left me…inspired. It makes me happy to see but I really couldn’t tell you why but it hasn’t failed yet.
Dorkier still? Shakespeare inspires me. I don’t want to be a playwright and although I still aspire to be the poet laureate of the United States, I have no desire to write sonnets. Oh, I have but man, are they tough! Don’t ever let anyone tell you that being a poet is a cushy job, there’s a lot of counting involved (well you know, for sonnets and haiku and all). But Shakespeare had it right. It may take a little getting used to but man, he knew people. And despite all the “thee’s” and “thou’s”, he was totally down with the little man. He knew the common people’s problems (this is why we still love Bill today, no?).
And speaking of Shakespeare, sort of, in a round about way, when I went to England, I got to visit the Shakespeare center, which was cool but did not really inspire me, what did inspire me was Tintern Abbey, in Wales. I can’t really say why, I am not much of a Wordsworth fan, so the a poem didn’t really get me there, and hey, in the United Kingdom, church ruins are literally a dime a dozen…well, ok, not LITERALLY, but there are pretty much everywhere. But standing there at the twilight-ly time of day, which in the UK in the summer is like 9 p.m. and looking at this beautiful decay, that was pretty amazing. And then going across the street to a pub built like a billion years ago and having cider, made by hand, that was pretty inspiring too. Or maybe I just like cider, I don’t know.