What Inspires Me?

Photo:  https://quotefancy.com/quote/958963/Mary-Oliver-The-sea-is-the-most-beautiful-face-in-our-universe

What Inspires Me?

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

–Mary Oliver

During this month of February, I am participating in a 28-Day Journaling Challenge.  Kudos to Stacy and Victoria for leading this wonderful experience!  Each morning, they send out the journaling topic for the day.  Today’s topic is “What Inspires Me?” and I’ve had a ball with this one!  This will be a living, evolving list for me but I decided to share today’s list  with you.

What Inspires Me?

  •  Nature’s always changing beauty.  Today, outside my window I see a pine cone, trapped on a Crepe Myrtle tree branch as it began its tumble to the ground.  It’s stark image against the bare branches makes it stand out – is it lonely all by itself in a place where it doesn’t belong?  Or, is it a comment on tenacity and courage that many of us must summon when we feel out of place or at the wrong time?  I choose the latter and I find this little pinecone to be an inspiration.
  •  Dogs, who epitomize unconditional love, acceptance and devotion.  As I write this blog post, Chuck, one of my two Welshies, is asleep on my foot.  He inspires me to find ways to remind others that I’m always there for them.
  • Accomplishing something that I didn’t think I could do – like making it through a yoga class yesterday!  I’m sure I was the oldest one in the class and the only one who could barely get up and down from the poses on the floor.  But the instructor brought me knee and head bolsters and I managed to finish the class.  Boy, did I sleep like a baby last night, with a little help from two Aleve’s.  LOL!
  • My mother-in-law, who is always smiling and grateful for the gifts in her life.  The last time I visited her, on her 95th birthday, she shared the joy she feels from the daily love she receives from her daughter and son-in-law, and the inspiration she gets every time she looks at her lifetime’s accumulation of art on her walls.  I have never known this beautiful lady to focus on the pain or tragedy in her life.  Love, gratitude and joy are her constant companions.
  •  Mary Oliver recently passed and I’ve been re-reading some of her poems and quotations.  For example:
    •  “Instructions for living a life.  Pay attention.  Be astonished.  Tell about it.”  So here I am doing just that!
    • “Breathe it all in.  Love it all out.”  This is an affirmation for everyday living.
  • Great Writing.  This week I read The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.  If you haven’t yet read it, add it to your “to read” stack.  I believe mothers and daughters have complex reltionahips and this powerful book inspires me to reach out more often to my beautiful daughter.
  • Great Songs.  Recently, I created a playlist on my Alexa of my favorite songs.  It brings me such joy to listen to it.  Today, after listening to “Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison, I looked at a few videos on YouTube of his life and impact.  Did you know that this incredible singer lost his first wife in a motorcycle accident and his two young sons in a house fire?  Despite his personal tragedy, he pulled himself together, remarried and had two more sons.  He wrote some of his greatest songs later in his life.  There is hope!
  • Great leaders, such as Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King..  You probably know by now that my politics lean toward the left.  The lkast two years have brought me great distress and I’ve been consciously looking for hope in the emerging field of Democratic contenders.  Nobody is perfect but I feel inspired by Kamala Harris and and Cory Booker. Their commitment to social justice and integrity give me hope that “this too shall pass.”

I hope you are inspired by the following poem.  I am.

I Worried

by Mary Oliver

I worried a lot.  Will the garden grow, will the rivers flow in the right direction, will the earth turn as it was taught, and if not how shall I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven, can I do better?  Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows can do it and I am well,  hopeless.

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it, am I going to get rheumatism, lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing,  And gave it up.  And took my old body and went out into the morning, and sang.

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