Monday, February 8, 2010

Inspiration

Inspiration can come from anything, anywhere. A speck of color in a piece of trash on the sidewalk. An article in a magazine. A line of dialogue in a book. Fashion. Music. A bottle of wine. Art. Film. A flower in Central Park.

On a recent trip to Boston, I was reading a back issue of Vogue that had been lying around my apartment since October '09. The article I was reading was called "the ex files" written by Tad Friend. He was doing research for his memoir and decided to look up and ask ex girlfriends to recall what it was like being in a relationship with him. The following two quotes I found extremely interesting and vivid. "My greatest danger is the everydayness. If it descends in full force I'll simply get depressed and I'll ingrow like a toenail." Amazing! I know exactly how the woman, who wrote this line in a letter to the author, feels. To have nothing on my calendar and no plans means that the only thing happening is the boring, everydayness that can happen in life. I am acquainted with that depression. I know how alive I feel when there's something to do. Having somewhere to be so that I can see people and be seen is a life saver. I crave it. The second quote was from the author himself. "Sometimes remembered lightening was just a lightening bug." How true is that? Something that in the moment is amazing or mind blowing can be remembered for what it truly was when we get some distance between us and it. Sex, kisses, dates, a movie, a moment when hands touch for the first time, a nice bottle of Bordeaux. They can mean so much at that moment. But time fades the memory. Or clarifies it. That burst of love was really nothing more than your heart racing.

How many times have you been inspired by a movie? Speaking solely for me, that number is countless. More times than I can remember. Sometimes there is even a moment of inspiration to glean from an otherwise dismal film. It was not a bad film that inspired me two nights ago. "Up", the most recent animated release from Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios, filled me with inspiration. I learned that I am never too old to open my heart. I am never too old to learn something new about the world or myself. I am never too old to change. I am never to old to achieve my goals. And, I am never too old to dream. Dreams can come true. All I have to do is believe in myself, close my eyes, and take the leap. Hell, maybe I should try taking the leap with my eyes open.

Inspiration came today in the form of this quote from Brian Gallagher while I was watching yesterday's CBS Sunday Morning. "When you invest your time, your money, just your energy, into things beyond yourself, you will be more successful." I need to do that more. I need to be more charitable. I was told recently that maybe if I would give more to charity then I wouldn't worry so much about having money. The point being, it all comes back to you. Karma, blessings, whatever you choose to believe it is. It's like the golden rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. If I give for the right reasons, then it can only come back to bless me. How amazing is that? Kind of inspiring I think. The first thing I did was give more to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS than I normally do at this time of year. I heard a woman on the street yesterday asking for 75 cents. Normally, I would ignore the request, as I always do, walk by, and try to block it out. Yesterday, I felt change in my pocket and whatdya know, three quarters. I gave it to the lady. It felt good. Those two giving moments happened before I even heard Brian Gallagher's thoughts on giving. I needed to hear them. Reinforcement!

The following quote was also from the CBS Sunday Morning program. I'm not sure who said it, but it immediately spoke to me. "If you're out there in the world, and you let the world in, it's almost impossible to not feel that there's some place where you can make things better."

I am inspired by many things in my life. What I want to be is a better person and an inspiration to others. That would be a beautiful achievement. I think it's time to open my heart, make a change, learn, live, and thus, inspire.