Friday, November 3, 2017

Are You Inspiration's Play Thing?

Have you ever been with someone who plays games (not the fun kind) but was so charming you didn’t care? Has someone completely captured your heart and then left you yearning for more?

I have a love like this. Surprised me recently. For the most part, has played me in the worst and best ways, makes me nuts, giddy and anxious all at once, often leaves me high and dry; here one moment and gone the next. I’m talking about that elusive character I’m sure you’ve danced with too—Inspiration. One step up and two steps back, am I right?

Crazy appealing and unreliably genius are accurate descriptions. Kryptonite for creatives. “I’ll call you,” says Inspiration, but getting a window of time on that is impossible. So I wait … I stare blankly at a keyboard willing letters to become words or at a white canvas, ever hopeful that it will explode into color. When did you say you’d call? What should I do while I wait? Tell me what to do. Now! Please. I beg.

Why does it have to be this way? Me begging. And you, off doing you know what with you know who?

Alas, I know I’m not Inspiration’s only toy to toy with. But it sure would be nice to be Inspiration’s full-time play thing. 

Of course I’m grateful to get bits and pieces of Inspiration when I can get them! Pictures, words, if I'm very lucky, a sentence. Rarely does a well formed idea come my way—Inspiration isn’t easy! 

Inspiration floats in, seemingly late every time. But from where? Perhaps if I could visit … there’s some vague sense about location, but is Numinous Underground a place? I’ll be your plus-one if you’re ever invited.

Visits are usually brief. If I do get an image from Inspiration I have less time than a Snapchat to sketch it before it’s—poof—gone out the metaphorical window. In an effort to hold onto Inspiration’s last word, I often lose the ones leading up to it. 

I've thought, it would be considerate of Inspiration to stop by when I’m not driving or in the shower. I’m just saying. It’s always when I least expect it.

Like this last time. So good. Different than our usual, you know—dance. Inspiration can be, surprising. Sometimes Inspiration makes it last in the best way—less like a cup of coffee for breakfast and more like Sunday brunch. You know what I mean?

There I was, staring longingly at my keyboard again, doing what I do. I glanced up at a messy computer desktop, icons strewn about willy nilly. I was just about to self-reprimand when I saw it, the 1929 Corona No. 3 Special typewriter. My heart skipped a beat. It’s teeny image hovered dangerously close to the trash icon. 

I remember that day at San Francisco International Airport when I photographed the antique typewriter in an exhibit there. The machines were beautiful. Works of art. Excitement was in the air. I was about to visit my son and my father in law and go to a party with good friends. I imagined words hovering over the typewriters—joy, love, beauty. Inspiration was already there, filling me up, gathering the pieces, planning our next play date.

I dragged the icon of the typewriter to Photoshop. Guess who opened a window with a new document?

Inspiration said, “Each letter travels and configures itself, no one more important than its neighbor, becoming one singular idea with unlimited potential.”

It didn't even matter what it meant! The last two words especially made me weak in the knees. I had to sit down. 

Wait, no. I was sitting already.

Quick, type! Then I printed those words and one Corona No. 3 Special. I made it orange because I can. 

A window remained open and from that mysterious, undisclosed location bits and pieces of more Inspiration floated in—ideas about a desktop and old and new icons, how what is old is made new again—including some 70’s fabric I love. Suddenly, there was an explosion of my childlike joy in vivid color. 

Inspiration and I were partners in paint, we communicated next steps with one another—like a real creative couple until we completed a whole idea together, “Pieces, Play, Unlimited Potential.” And, the best part? Inspiration lingered. Hung out. WE MADE MORE ART! 

Isn't that interesting? Here I thought I was the needy one, but I realized something that day. 

Inspiration needs me too. I'm fun to be with.

Artwork details:
"Pieces, Play, Unlimited Potential"
36"x 48"
For more information please visit,


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