Posts Tagged: writing inspiration

explore beauty – a challenge

What is it you find beautiful?  Based on what I know of most of my faithful friends here in blogland, it’s not going to be that pretty pop star whose photo was manipulated to “perfection” for the cover of Rolling Stone.  I could look at Bob Dylan’s face and find mountains more beauty than I can in hers.  But that’s me.  My definition of beauty is formed by where I came from, my ideals, my age, my interests, my education – and my needs.  What about you?  What defines beauty in your world?

I find old train tracks beautiful.  And forgotten corners of cottage yards.  And broken down old sheds.  And my mother’s hands.  The way a little kid darts around his father repeating “Da-a-d…?” as they walk toward the Air Canada Center to the hockey game.  Or the stunning gradation of the sky as it was the other night – from breathtaking orange to the deep royal blue housing that delicate sliver of a crescent moon.  Or Santana’s rendering of Soul Sacrifice at Woodstock.  The soft traces of humming I hear coming from the woman with the beatific smile who sits on the other side of my office cubicle.  The bowl on my table filled with sweet potatoes, beets, Bosc pears, an acorn squash and some bulbs of garlic – a haul from the market last week.  Giant ropes coiled on the decks of ships.

What is beautiful to you?  I challenge you to explore it:

Find 101 examples of beauty, and show, tell, list or write them.  Photographs, songs, poems, paintings, crafts – however it is you tell your story. 

There is no timeframe, because the number target may seem high to you.  (It won’t for long – trust me.)  And modify the challenge to suit you.  Do it once a week and it could become an ongoing topic for a year.  Find a few things a day, the project could last a month.  Sit down for a few hours and you could finish a list in one go!  Maybe you’re not ready just now.  Or maybe you are stumbling across this challenge six months from now.  Any time is a good time to start. 

Feel free to grab the badge below and put in your sidebar if you like, as a reminder of where to find inspiration in an uninspired or down period.  And that, really, is the point.  Where the doldrums take over – finding beauty brings inspiration back. 

Exploring Beauty 
 
Why 101 things?  I just like odd numbers better than even ones.  It’s only a number and who knows, maybe the term “101” will just be a symbolic sort of thing, representing “my collection” or “my exploration.”  I just know that for me, it’s a topic I need to return to time and time again, and I’m hoping it will turn into something of an extended exploration here. 

If you do take part, be sure to let me know (as well as the tag or category you’ll use, if you wish) and I’ll list a link to your blog on this dedicated page. 

After all – it’s really beauty that I’m searching for in Realia every day.  I’d venture to say it’s what we’re all looking for. 

Others Exploring Beauty

The Streaming Now

Menopausal Stoners

My Missing Life (“doing a few”)

 Right Motherhood

The Querulous Squirrel

why, look at that moon

There are a few people who have directly influenced my writing style.  One is my old Windsor/Detroit bus riding pal Phil, who wrote little accounts of events so charmingly in the present tense.  Another one is Mike Scott, the Waterboys songwriter whose poetical view of the world is just intoxicating to me; though it was his online journals that inspired me to "blog" before I knew there was such a thing as blogs.  Back then I called it my online journal.  Go figure.

And Victoria Williams.  There are many reasons to love her.  You could find most of those reasons in her songs.  She faces harder things than I have even dreamed of, yet her themes of the uplifting and the beautiful and the precious and marvellously quirky here and now (and yesterday too) never seem to waver.

There's no video to go with this particular song, but I thought about it in the past few days, as I often do over the waxing and waning full moon times.  I hope you click on it.  I know you'll enjoy it. 

And I bet you ten dollars it'll stick with you and that you'll stumble across at least one thing today that gives you pleasure.  She's got a way with that. 

She's one of those artists who makes me want to write; one of the reasons I'm here.

Words by Victoria Williams

The willows were swaying
The water was rippling
The froggies were singing
Along with the lapping at the bank
We have the moon to thank
For this lovely scene
We might never have seen
If it hadn't have been for the moon

Why look at that moon
Ah way up high
Seeing everything
Ah yes there it goes by
Why look at that moon
Why why why
Look at the moon!
Why why why
Look at the moon!

Oh sittin' in the desert
Beneath the lonesome sky
Ooh my oh my it would be
Of if there'd never been above
That faithful little orb
That one that has beheld true love through history
Why must it start?
Why must lovers part?
Why does the cheating go on?
Why have hearts turned to stone?

Why look at that moon!
Ain't it grand
Why look at that moon
Helps me understand
Why look at that moon
Inspirator of many a tune
Why look at that moon

http://www.victoriawilliams.net/

Ship and Moon 
 
(Note:  The aforementioned Waterboys do a sweet calypso version of Why Look at the Moon on the album Sweet Relief, a 1990s album of Victoria Williams songs covered by artists to raise funds for her treatment for Multiple Sclerosis.  My girls will tell you that they often heard one version right after the other, so much does their mother love this song.)