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The Inspired Life

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Why is it that writing is seen as literal? People read something and take it as the gospel. That’s true for tabloid media, textbooks, newspapers, and other types of writing. If one writes it, then it must be real, true, and authentic. If you stop to think about it, no other art-form yields the same type of sentiment about the authenticity of its creator. A painting can be seen as somber, joyous, or angry; yet rarely is the painter seen as such (at least not solely based on their creation). But, when someone writes a heartfelt poem it’s immediately thought that the author must be experiencing emotions similar to those reflected in their piece.

Remember studying Walt Whitman, Shakespeare, Chaucer? They wrote pieces about life, love, fantasy, and everything in between. Is Chaucer seen as crazy for constructing the imagery-ridden Canterbury Tales? After all, it’s laced with monsters, imaginary creatures, fictitious lands, and faraway places. Was he bipolar? Schizophrenic maybe? Was Shakespeare obsessed with tragedy because of his own life experiences? Was he driven to write of love, betrayal, and death because his life was filled with wild, passionate drama and traumatic situations? Hardly …

Any artist, whether they paint, sketch, write, rhyme, or dance, will tell you that they are inspired to do so. Inspiration is taken from every corner of one’s life; but only if you take the time to see it. For so many people, inspiration has long since left their lives. Instead, the humdrum of everyday life takes over and drains any creativity and any drive toward an imaginative series of thought from their minds. In a word, they are uninspired. It is hard, almost impossible, for those folks to understand how one can write something that seems so personal and yet have no intimate connection to the work outside of being inspired to create it.

It’s why a writer can pen a character, setting, a continuum of situations to make a book. Something not based on their intimate and private lives, but inspired by their own unique personal experiences. Inspiration can come in the form of a conversation, magazine, dream, or just watching the toiling of daily life as it unfolds. Any artist can understand this … it’s those who have retreated into the “realness” of life that have such a hard time understanding art in its purest and rawest form. Inspiration is what separates those who reach higher and those who play by the rules. Inspiration is what defines those who excel.

Take time to recognize inspiration. Life is short, but it’s too long if you wander through it lacking any creative motivation (notice I didn’t say creative talent … you don’t have to be talented in the arts to appreciate the process). Taking things literally sucks the fun and creativity out of your journey. God did not give us this wonderful mind only to be firmly placed in reality. If you don’t believe that, then think about it this way. Religion and the belief in God is one big exercise in imagination; which requires one to be inspired toward faith, the belief in redemption, karma, and more. That’s no coincidence or accident, so do what you have to do to get inspired. Or, get out of the way and let the inspired class of minds show you all how it’s done.

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