Where Inspiration LivesPosted in Blog
(Blog by e Bond)
Inspiration. So much possibility crammed into four syllables. It is far-reaching, can be found anywhere and usually arises when you least expect it. I love being inspired. I love discussing it, musing over it, saving it for a rainy day. I am a person who craves an abundance of stimulation in order to produce thoughts so searching for inspiration is a daily routine. I also used to work at a place that prided itself on both the use and distribution of this commodity so much so I became quite good at researching, organizing and disseminating inspiration. I use it to change the way I am seeing, to give new context to old issues, or maybe even to just be moved by sheer beauty.
But being inspired is just one side of the coin isn’t it? When I went to see how the experts defined inspiration, one dictionary wrote: 1, stimulation or arousal of the mind, feelings, etc., to special or unusual activity or creativity, 2, to affect or touch; 3, to stimulate to action; motivate; 4, to draw in (air) by inhaling.
This idea of inspiration being a two-part endeavor is what I am most interested in. The act of being so moved or taken in by another —inhale—that you cannot help but act out in creation yourself— exhale. Inspiration is the catalyst that affects action, and action affects change. Being moved to action is just a lovely thought.
In this space each week I will do my best to share ideas that will hopefully get us moving. I will offer up weekly doses of inspiration in a variety of formats from a myriad of people so you can discuss it, muse over it, and also save it for a rainy day. (Feel free to send me ideas too, share the love!) I will try to let you know what is moving me at the moment (right now I guess the short list would be Amos Lee, Sheila Hicks at the ICA and John Berger . I will also try to introduce and unearth new places where the inspiration we discuss can be turned into action. After all, this is what we are all about here at the no (name) art group, right?
For this inaugural post, I will share this one thing, TED. TED is where I constantly go for my daily dose of inspiration. And honestly TED alone as an organization is enough inspiration for a lifetime of learning. In short, TED is an organization devoted to ideas worth spreading. It consists of conferences, talks, local events like the first ever TEDxphilly last October, prizes, fellows etc. all with the intent of getting people to share their ideas — ideas that hopefully, will change the world.
Each week I get an email that informs me about recent TED talks, discussing new ideas or a new way of thinking about an old idea and all in 20 minutes or less. These talks come from scientists, linguists, sculptors, composers, environmentalists, anthropologists, economists, artists and musicians. Every time I visit TED and click I am forever changed. There are some videos I go back to time and time again when I need a jolt of confidence, or reassurance, or to understand a small piece of myself I have forgotten and need a little help being reminded. Somehow knowing that all those people are out there in the world thinking and creating and pushing ideas to new levels makes me feel safer, proud, empowered.
People are trying. Everyday. I am lucky TED reminds me of that, lucky it gives people a place to share their ideas and for those ideas to be passed along.
So I will leave you with a few of the talks I go to when I need to be moved forward, broken free from a rut or even to be forced to sit still. I hope you will explore the TED archives in your own time and find the messages that speak to you. And if you do find a few, pass them on. Inspiration usually works best when shared.
see you next week, e
e’s go-to list (start clicking away):
…to remember the impact of good, honest storytelling: chimamanda adichie
…to remember play is not a frivolous act and could possibly change the world: jane mcgonigal
… to get “serious” about creating: paula scher
… to remember it is perfectly alright to be wrong: ken robinson
… to be reassured the world already has everything it needs: janine benyus
& when all else fails, a reminder to keep showing up to do the work, the rest will work itself out: elizabeth gilbert