The Gift of Inspiration


Inspiration ~ from the Latin inspirare “inspire, inflame, blow into,” from in- “in” + spirare “to breathe.” By 1867, meaning “one who inspires others.” ~ Adapted from the Online Etymology Dictionary 

Until I researched the meaning of “inspiration” I had no idea that it came from the Latin word inspirare – to breathe, to blow into or to breathe in. From a physiological point of view, breathing consists of two phases, inspiration (breathing in) and expiration (breathing out.) One current meaning of inspiration is the  “arousal of the mind, feelings, etc. to special or unusual activity or creativity.” (Collins English Dictionary) A deeper look at this familiar word has a special and unexpected meaning to me, as I released a new composition a few months ago called “Breath” and have written about it in Breathe Out, Breathe In.

And so, I was deeply touched by Margie in Italy’s  nomination of my blog for “The Very Inspiring Blogger” award. Nothing could please me more than to think that what I post may inspire others, for I have also been deeply inspired by many blogs as well. I now have an opportunity to acknowledge and thank those bloggers who have touched my life and my view of the world. I must admit that for many years, I thought the blogging world was solely populated by the espousal of extreme opinions, whether political, social, or the merely petty.  While this certainly exists, what I have really found in the year that I have been blogging is a large diverse community of people who generously share their insights, their reflections and perceptions, their sense of humor, and their creative vision with others. I never could have imagined such a place, with friends the world over respecting and encouraging each other and each with a unique gift to share.  It continues to fascinate and inspire me.

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award asks me to thank my awarder, reveal seven facts about myself, and nominate seven others for the award. As you might guess, Margie has a deep abiding love for Italy along with family ties there and shares wonderful photos, stories, recipes, and ideas from her travels through that beautiful country. It is a wonderful blog for a personal take on Italy!

Seven facts about me:

  1. I also have a deep love for Italy – the land of sunset colored buildings, deep green trees, a profound cultural love of music and art, and some of the best coffee, wine, and food on the planet.  I spent two summers there while in college and have visited several times since. In addition to Margie’s blog, I follow Bagni di Lucca for my weekly Italy fix. Here’s a painting I made that was inspired by the house where I stayed in Barga many years ago.
  2. I drink hot coffee year round, even during the “dog days” of summer.
  3. Speaking of dog days, my standard poodle, Angel Eyes, picked me.  I went to the breeder intending to bring home her brother, but she danced around my chair until I fell in love with her on the spot.  Good choice!
  4. I love to dance, even when I’m cooking.
  5. My iPad is stocked with a wild mix of books, from classic fiction to quantum physics to biographies to sci fi/fantasy novels to cookbooks.  Lately, I’ve been working my way through Zane Grey novels, downloaded free through Project Gutenberg, including “Riders of the Purple Sage.”
  6. I miss the magic of the darkroom.  I love Photoshop but there was something special about swirling the paper in the tray and seeing an image emerge. Here’s a B&W photo I took in Spain which was featured in some photography shows and a few newspaper reviews.
  7. I’ve seen the movie “Avatar” four times, twice in iMax 3D. In an alternative universe, I would live in that glowing garden.

Here are four (sorry, couldn’t manage the seven) nominations for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award” –

Catherine of The Daily Round writes one of the most thoughtful blogs I’ve ever read.  She reflects on life’s big questions as well as its little details and often includes photos of her garden and her four legged friends. I am always deeply touched and inspired by her wisdom and her reflective approach to life.

Tracy of Seasons Flow consistently amazes me with her deep knowledge of birds and wildflowers, which she shares through words and photos taken on her long walks through the Ohio countryside. It is always a fascinating journey to walk along with Tracy.

Ogee of Gardens for Goldens  has a unique site dedicated to the rescue of golden retriever dogs and a garden dedicated to them.  Stories of happy endings and garden photos – what could be better?

CheyAnne of New Mexico Mountain Girl is a gifted painter and photographer who shares her beautiful world in colorful images of horses, birds, and even old rusted pickup trucks in the New Mexico landscape. I’ve been following CheyAnne since I began blogging and even dream about her beautiful images sometimes.

In another week or so, I have another award to acknowledge, so I will save a few nominees for that post. Want to read more about inspiration? Visit Wikipedia on “Inspiration” with many interesting links.

One more award! Jean of Cycle Write Blog generously nominated me a while back for the Versatile Blogger award.  Jean has a wonderful blog about her cycling adventures around the city of Vancouver, often featuring fascinating neighborhood stores, eateries, art in the parks, and architectural standouts. If you’re a gardener, you might especially enjoy her post “Nurturing Life: In Praise of Gardeners, Keepers of the Earth.” Since I already received this award a while back, I will direct you to my response post “On Being Versatile” for a peek at my answers and the other blogs I nominated for the award.

36 thoughts on “The Gift of Inspiration

    • Paula, I spent three weeks in Italy as part of my first trip to Europe on tour with my college choir. The first two weeks were spent rehearsing in Lucca (Tuscany), then traveling north. I returned the following summer to study Italian at L’Universita per Stranieri in Perugia, then as an opera student at Opera Barga. I’ve been back to Italy as a traveler several times since, but nothing will match those months spent immersed in the everyday life of that country. I often dream that I am back there and speaking in Italian (much more fluent in my dreams than in my waking life!)

  1. I do love the way how you interweave music, gardening and art into your blog which is why I did nominate you for the award. Thanks for the kind reference link to one of blog posts that does have a special meaning for me …even though I’m not a gardener. (More like a black thumb!)

  2. I feel so honored and blessed to have inspired you. I really am touched and love the dreaming idea. I dream every night and remember most of them at the time, but I am always curious as to where certain things or people that come to me at night, where or when did I think of them during my day time wakefulness.
    peace n abundance,
    CheyAnne
    ps. I am totally with you living in that glowing garden

    • CheyAnne, I love all of your work but I actually dreamed of your rusted pickup truck series – in the dreams, the trucks were still operational, but it took me a while to realize that the dreams were connected with your paintings – visual inspiration! 🙂

  3. Pingback: The grace of the unexpected | Botanically Inclined

  4. Congratulations with the award, you blog really deserves all the attention it gets nowadays. I always enjoy visiting it. And as Promenade Claire says you wrote a wonderful acceptance speech. Puts things in perspective and summarizes the beauty of the blog sphere.

    • Otto, thank you so much and congratulations to you as well; you had a stunning array of blog awards recently, and well deserved! Your posts always inspire me and make me think in new ways. Thanks for visiting!

  5. a wonderful accpetance speach ! And beautiful paintings and photos to go with it – the painting from Italy was particualrly magic for me. I’m off for a read of ths blogs you mentioned 🙂

  6. Congrats! – I entered the blogging ‘world’ more as an experiment ( – in writing) but now I am also amazed at how wonderful this is and how one can always find new ideas and inspiration in so many areas. Somehow I always receive more than I give away – Thank you all.

  7. Lynn – your blog IS very inspiring, in many ways. I have found so much in it over the past many months I have been following you which often leads me off to some other part of the internet to listen to music, or find out more. Thank you! You deserve awards 🙂

  8. Congrats … and I love the way you started this post with some word history. Thanks for Margie’s site .. as I can’t go wrong with another Italy site. Love the factoids too!

  9. What do you know? When I can’t sleep I always suspect Spirit wants me awake; what a surprise to read your post and learn so much more about your remarkable gifts and interests, Lynn! Thank you for the wonderful honor of your nomination; it means a great deal to me to be recognized by one as gifted as you. I’m not skilled with these awards, so I’ll pass on this, but am so grateful, as you say, to have met such lovely fellow-bloggers sending hope and wisdom out into the ether. I’m happy to say that in addition to your own blog, which I absolutely love for its sensitivity, integration of all my passions, and inspiration, I really enjoy these blogs: Soulsby Farm; The Human Picture; Canadian Art Junkie; and Four Deer Oak. There are so many wonderful writers and spirits sharing their time and gifts! Thank you, Lynn; I’m so blessed to have found your blog!

    • Catherine, I apologize for the delay in responding to your comment; it got lost in the Spam area. What a lovely comment you’ve posted! I’ve changed your links so that they open more easily; I do know two of these blogs and like them very much, so I hope others visit them as well. The other two are new to me and delightful! Thank you as always for visiting; you never fail to inspire me!

  10. I’m touched and honored that you included Gardens for Goldens on your list. I will get to work paying forward your generosity. Thank you! – Ogee

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