WPC: Inspiration Defined in 5 Shots

Inspiration can hit you in the head at any time in any context. It could happen in a conversation. Talking to someone at a party, you can get an idea. But you’ve got to remember those inspirations.–James Cameron

Inspiration is magical and unexpected.  It strikes like a bolt out the blue and sends a shiver down my spine.  The French word “frisson” describes it perfectly–a shiver of recognition and excitement, mixed with a little fear.  Fear of what?  That the magic will disappear into the wind, never to return again.  When I first saw this exquisite sculpture of a sleeping Buddha in the Japanese Gardens at Meijer Gardens, I literally stopped, transfixed by its magic.  What a lovely image–Buddha’s cheek cradled by the earth.

Sleeping Buddah.  The Japanese Gardens at Meijer Gardens.  Grand Rapids, MI.  Shot with a Canon 70D.

Sleeping Buddha. The Japanese Gardens at Meijer Gardens. Grand Rapids, MI. Shot with a Canon 70D.

There are little gems all around us that can hold glimmers of inspiration.–Richelle Mead

Inspiration is a shape shifter and takes many forms.  Sometimes it is a conversation overheard in a restaurant.  Or, a photo in a magazine.  Or an odd  juxtaposition of objects, places or people–like this sculpture from the Intuit Museum in Chicago.  The “staring” hands look like mystical symbols.  They remind me of the all-seeing “eye” in the pyramid on the back of the dollar bill.  They send my mind whirling in intriguing directions.

From The Intuit Museum, Chicago.

From The Intuit Museum, Chicago. Shot with a Canon 40D.

Insomnia is my greatest inspiration.–Jon Stewart

Inspiring moments often strike in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep.  They can also make me laugh, like this bride we spotted in the main square in Portofino, stopping to have a slice of pizza on her wedding day.  I’ve spent years wondering what happened to the groom.

Pizza for My Wedding.  Shot with a Canon Rebel XT.  Portofino, Italy

Pizza for My Wedding. Shot with a Canon Rebel XT. Portofino, Italy

Inspiration comes of working every day.–Charles Baudelaire

Inspiration often comes when I’m at my desk writing or editing.  But sometimes, it strikes when I’m out walking in the world.  Often it is startling–like this tree peering at me on a recent walk in Holland, Michigan.  Um…what is it thinking?

Mr. Tree.  Holland Michigan.  Shot with a Canon 70D.

Mr. Tree. Holland Michigan. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Inspiration comes from within yourself. One has to be positive. When you’re positive, good things happen.–Deep Roy

Inspiration is often playful and spontaneous like this child who decided to jump off the lifeguard chair one summer’s evening just as the sun was setting.   I love the beauty, grace, and joy of that child, caught in her mid-air ballet by my husband.   (I have to admit that I always wanted to take a leap into the soft sand just like her.  I can almost feel the cool sand on my toes when I land.)

The Long Jump.  Summer, 2015.  Shot with a Canon 70D.

Flying at Flying Point Beach, Southampton, NY.  Shot with a Canon 70D.

What’s  your definition of inspiration?  Does it include any of the qualities I’ve mentioned?  Or, is it something entirely different?

Enjoy the last few weeks of the summer, everyone!  And if you’re in a cold part of the world, I hope the warm weather is just around the corner.

For more inspiration, click on the following links:



16 replies »

    • Thanks, Tina! My husband captured the little girl. He loves action shots. I was lucky to capture the bride. I definitely wouldn’t skydive, but I’d jump into the sand. 🙂


    • You are very welcome, Sonya. I enjoyed your take on the challenge! And I think you’re right about when and where inspiration strikes. Sometimes it’s in the most unlikely places–like the shower!


  1. I agree with all the definitions you mentioned. I suppose ‘inspiration’ goes with ‘motivation’ also; and demands discipline. In my case, I can get inspiration but no motivation, so I have to work on my discipline. For example, since I also write poems, I have to discipline myself to devote time to it. since I just do perhaps too much photography. I just love the image of the Buddha statue. As always, such mind nurturing posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Maria. Yes, you’re right. Great point. Inspiration and motivation go hand-in-hand, as well as discipline. All 3 work together. Discipline is definitely the hardest part. It’s like exercising and eating right. It’s hard to make time for that, but it’s so necessary. I can think of a million reasons not to write, but they don’t bring me as much satisfaction, and ultimately they are not as “healthy” for body and spirit! Do you have any specific time set aside for your poetry during the week?

    P.S. So glad you liked the Buddha. 🙂 I thought it was a stunning sculpture.


    • Oops, this reply should’ve gone here. Sorry to be so late in replying. At night I write the beginning of short poems, and I keep them in a “notes” app of the smartphone. Sometimes it takes time to complete a whole poem, but I get haikus and other short poems each night.


  3. Eating pizza in a white gown? That takes courage! 🙂 I’d have a glop of cheese stain within the first 30 seconds.

    The process of inspiration is fascinating. I think it can come from the unlikeliest of places. My mind stores odd bits of information collected from daily experiences and interactions and then they pop up again when I least expect them.

    Wonderful photos! Have a lovely weekend.


  4. True, Jackie! You’d never catch me eating pizza (or a salad with balsamic dressing) while wearing white! I totally agree with your point regarding inspiration. The mind is fascinating–how it’s working even when we think it isn’t and storing up bits of information and making surprising connections between them. Thanks for your insights!


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