Inspiration: A Way With Words

Right now I am hugely inspired by the writer Linda Hogan. I first read her writing in a fabulous collection of writings called Road of Her Own. Then I picked up her book Woman Who Watches Over the World. I read it cover to cover...well, I devoured it, actually. After that book I read Dwellings and The Sweet Breathing of Plants, which Hogan co-edited. I felt like I was thirsty for writing just like this, writing that is honest, writing that celebrates nature, writing that examines the meat of life.

Here's a sampling from The Woman Who Watches Over the World:

"The shore is a place of endings and beginnings, of constant movement and change. In the ocean's fathomless depths is the roughness that takes mountains down into grains of sand, the dead into nothing, or almost so. The ocean swallows a beach one year and returns it another.

And so we sat, Georgianna and I. On the skin of the water, infant fish float in the clear sheltering sacs of their eggs, an eye visible, a curved fin, spine, the beating hearts we humans share, afloat, moving into these bodies like shells taken up by hermit crabs, the very precious being of all our bodies."

Hogan is a Chickasaw poet and she weaves Native American stories and history into her writing. She has been nominated for a Pulitzer, she's won an American Book Award, and her list of accolades goes on. But really, all those awards aren't important. What is important is how her turns of phrase inspire me to paint, to photograph, to share the beauty and the pain of the world in my own way.

This is why I must remember that days of filling the well are important. The last few days I've been tied to the computer, networking and applying to various fairs and festivals. And I feel dragged down. Completely the opposite of what I feel when I read Hogan's work, or stand outside and let the breeze tickle my skin.

Finding that balance between work and art, marketing and painting, networking and engaging with the outside world: that's the ultimate challenge, isn't it?

Anyway, today I'm taking time out for inspiration. I'm sitting down with Starhawk's The Earth Path, I'm going to meditate, listen to music, and get outside for a walk. The really important stuff.

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