Sometimes it’s the little things.
Today I did a poetry reading for the “Read, Write and Doodle” Guerrilla Artist Group youth art sessions at Mooresville Public Library. I’d been a little apprehensive when I’d been asked to do it, wondering if I’d have anything 12-18 year olds could connect with.
At the end of the session, one of the girls, Aja, came up and handed me an illustration she’d made of one of the poems I’d read. I was completely surprised, just as I’d been when I heard two of her classmates bring themes from my poems into their own writing exercises in class.
But maybe I shouldn’t have been. One of the topics of class was the question of inspiration. Most of the time we think of the lofty or moving or powerfully emotional as being inspirational. Or maybe we see a particular person or his or her work as inspirational.
But the truth is that inspiration has an aspect slightly more mundane as well. No act of creation takes place in a vacuum. It’s always situated within a specific place and time, which is never short of opportunities for interesting ideas—if we’ll simply notice and take the invitation.
Today the students took what was at hand in class to write their stories. Aja used it to draw her picture. To swing the circle ‘round, they’ve all inspired me to write this post tonight—when I’d not planned to write today at all. Thank you, Aja. Thanks to the rest of your classmates as well.