Like Trying to Shape Water

Posted by on October 15, 2013 in Observations | 4 comments

Where does inspiration come from?

Its something we often have to wait for, it doesnt always come when we want it to. Its lack is found in the blank piece of paper, the empty bobbin, the undyed fiber… Is inspiration like some kind of fickle friend who thinks only of themselves and comes and goes from our lives like a butterfly in the wind? Unreliable, untrustworthy, mostly never there when you want it to be. Thats how inspiration often feels to me. Annoying.

Sometimes it can be gone for days, only to return in a rush, which tends to be either like the sun suddenly coming out and pouring its glow all over your skin in a delightful warmth of ideas, or its like the outpouring of beans when you accidentally tip the coffee jar over on the bench and you cant move fast enough to catch the overwhelming escape of thoughts and creativity. Inspiration, you ARE my fickle friend.

But. IF inspiration was more like a constant awareness, a consistent and continuous flow of small sparks, something we could count on to always be available, always be the same shape, would it still be.. inspiration? I might curse the days when I know I have creative tasks to perform and inspiration has failed me and not even arrived on the doorstep to be ushered in and put to work. I might find frustration in the blank pages and empty bobbins, but I am starting to think that if I was in a constant state of inspiredness, I would far too quickly take that for granted and treat it like part of the furniture. I think the edge would go off it, the excitement would go out of it. Maybe I would wake up every morning with the thought that, oh yes, another idea, doesn’t matter, I will have ten million more in the next hour anyway so who cares.

So today I am going to work on valuing my downtime, loving my blank paper and appreciating its potential to excite me and fill me with a will to be active and alive and inspired, and I am going to work on living with a full appreciation of how much I love my fickle friend despite its tendency to hide when there are deadlines and run away when there are demands! I will work on accepting that I am not an inspiration machine, stop requiring myself to be able to switch inspiration on and off at will, and let it come as it pleases, to be welcomed by me with open arms and a vast amount of appreciation at whatever time it decides to show up.

Today my inspiration can exist like a waterfall, flowing around the bumps, making its own path through my life and I will not be a dam and try to capture it and keep it in the shape I want it, because then it wouldn’t be a waterfall anymore 🙂





  1. Suzy, when your inspiration does show up can you tell her to remind mine where I live!!!!!!! Please…………. Busy with the up coming Spin-in in Woodville, and trying to get house ready for overseas visitors (wallpapering bedrooms etc) so can guarantee that my inspiration will show up when I can least do anything about it. Such is life

    • Hi Susan! Whats the bet you get a sudden flash of inspiration just as you are halfway through the wallpapering! I wish I could be there for the Spin-in too 🙂

  2. Inspiration…does not come when I call her at all! Shows up when I’m in the middle of other things usually…

    • Yes! In fact our conversation yesterday followed by two hours of staring at a blank piece of paper as I tried to draw a rams head triggered most of this post 😉

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