People. People you’ve met. People you haven’t met. People who’ve done amazing things. People who have done nothing but sit and moan, and who make you determined not to be like them. People who have been ill. People who are still ill. People who have died. People who never lived.
Places. Places you’ve been. Places you haven’t been. Places you never knew existed and that you heard of while you were somewhere else. Places you always wanted to go. Places you went to accidentally on the way to somewhere else, and you never knew you wanted to go. Places you promise to visit again. Places you never ever want to go back to. Physical places. Psychological places.
Events. Races, challenges, celebrations. Big races. Small races. High. Cold. Fast. Things you want to do. Things you have done and want to do again. Things you never want or need to do again. Times you survived unexpectedly. Times things went right. Times things went wrong. Times when you were alone. Times when you met someone new, or old, or different.
Things. Actual physical things you can touch. Things you can’t touch but know to be real. Big, big things. Tiny things.
Visual art, music, theatre, dance, film, poetry, literature. Words. Quotes.
Concepts, ideas, ideologies, religion, lack of religion. Maybe even love.
What inspires us, what pushes us forward?
For me, inspiration is inextricably tangled with dreams, desires, hopes, aspirations, ambitions, motivation, commitment, drive, action.
I take inspiration from friends. A friend who has moved away to another country to fulfil a dream. A friend who has retired from the corporate world to fulfil a dream. A friend who lives her life in uncompromising pursuit of what she believes is important to her and that makes her happy. Friends who have survived the toughest times, addiction, serious injury. Friends who hear of something unlikely going on somewhere in the world and think I might want to have a go. Often they are right.
I take inspiration from acquaintances. Someone who ran across some ridiculously difficult terrain from one corner of Scotland to another. Someone else who stepped away from the corporate world to fulfil another dream. Someone who ran a race in a time I can only dream of. Someone who built a home they’d always dreamed of in a really difficult location to access.
I take inspiration from family. An aunt whose time was called way before it should have been. An uncle who recovered from a brutal form of cancer and continues to live with the significant and cruel after effects. An aunt who is on watch and wait with a different but related cancer.
I take inspiration from places I have been, and things I have done, that lead me to want to go to new places, bigger, higher, further, faster. I take inspiration from places others have been, or have suggested I might enjoy. Places where I have felt happy, or with a buzz about them that suggests a promise of good times ahead.
I take inspiration from music. Those who play the harp in a way I could only manage if I committed myself completely to that and nothing else. Those who sing, write, play their own music as well as that of others. Those who are brave enough to risk making a living from their talent in a world that wants music for nothing.
I take inspiration from words. Spoken, written, sung by those who have been before or have yet to go.
I take inspiration from people I’ve never met, possibly never likely to meet. The fastest. The best. The bravest. Those who have made a journey, those who have documented it, shared it so that I might find it and use it.
Most of all I take inspiration from time, and the knowledge that there is only so much of it. Sometimes this is all I need to keep me moving forwards. On some occasions it makes me stop, re-evaluate and change course.
The Clyde Clock (or the Running Man as he is to me)
Dad undertaking a special delivery of my bike, on the first leg of its trip to Glasgow
A former brandy distillery in Leiden, scene of a brilliant gig I played at
Flying home fom Tiree after a brilliant solo birthday celebration
Munching cake by Loch Long after a trip up the Cobbler with the other member of the Harpists’ Mountaineering Club
Bruce of course, suggesting he would have made a fine harpist with such a beautiful hand position
Two much loved birthday presents – a special book and instructions to paint my nails bright green
Escorting a lost dog into the sunset
Sometimes you only need to try something once to know that you have no need to try it again
(this post is part of the DIY Creative Club September challenge, which I’m a bit behind on (!) but am using to get my writing unstuck and out of my head)