Sunday, 7 October 2012

Wall of inspiration

Listening to: "She Doesn't Mind" by Sean Paul
Reading: A Monk Swimming by Malachy McCourt
Outside: Clear, blue sky, perfect for looking up and dreaming


I'm giving you the answer to your burning question (no, not that one).

This is the best way to:

- Cure writer's block
- Get happy
- Overcome your problem with your work/weight/spouse/child/parent
- Avoid letting rain get in your way
- Deal with that bus/train/flight delay
- Prevent anything - anything at all - stopping you

And the answer is...

Get inspired.

You heard me. Get inspired.

One way to get inspired is to get yourself your very own Wall of Inspiration.

This picture is how my Wall of Inspiration started.

This is my (impossibly slim and young-looking) 22-year-old self in October 2005, in my apartment I shared with one of my best friends in Muncie, Indiana. I am not quite sure why there are two laptop computers on my dinette table cum desk (the black chunky dated laptop is mine).

Some five or six months before this photo was taken, I had graduated from Ball State University, scantily equipped for the hard-edged world with a fluffy Bachelor of Arts, and I was working approximately 4 jobs in order to pay the rent and save money in order to, well - to uproot my life and move to the UK in a year's time. You can't tell in this picture, but I was overworked and underpaid.

More importantly, in this picture I am surrounded by things I love: a horse calendar, Rodin's obsession The Thinker, my Queen Mab - you can see the autumnal hues of her robes influencing my as-yet-undreamed-of wedding seven years down the line - and poems, postcards, my drawings and paintings, quotes and scraps of paper that carry a certain weight. These things spoke to me in some way. In some large or small way, every thing on those walls changed me.

And so I transplanted my Wall over to sunny Doncaster. Five thousand miles distant and years away from that Muncie moment, my Wall of Inspiration has grown. It has taken up almost my entire Upper Room - this place where I think, and write, and where I'm typing this blog post right now. I have filled up the empty spaces on these walls with a sort of paper-patchwork-quilt. These are the things I need to keep me going: a photo of me in my Freshman year at Ball State University, taken just days before the 9-11 disaster, when all was still right with the world; magazine articles sent from my family and friends who believe in me; cards given to me from my closest confidants, whose messages still squeeze my heart; quotes, comics, and lists, poems and prophesies; things that remind me who I was and who I have become.

Friendships made, relationships sealed, memories taken out of the box as a reminder: all of these things go up on the Wall.

It is enriching and refreshing to surround yourself with beauty - a paper-patchwork-quilt to keep you warm when the cold winds try to fly through your mind.

Have a happy Sunday, and be inspired.

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