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.