Inspire: (verb) fill someone with the urge to do something, especially to do something creative. ORIGIN: Middle English enspire , from Old French inspirer , from Latin inspirare ‘breath or blow into,’ from in - ‘into’ + spirare ‘breathe.’ The word was originally used of a divine or supernatural being, in the sense [impart a truth or idea to someone.]
“The best way to answer a question is to turn it on the questioner,” David Ludwig said sagely, responding to the question of “Where do you get your inspiration?” by saying “where do you get your inspiration?” I replied that I get it from walking outside, from nature, or reading—or from anything, really. Then I questioned him again, curious. Puckishly, he replied that I’d just answered for him.
Our conversation turned to where the words “inspire” and “invent” come from; that, if you were to go to the roots of the words, they both roughly mean “to breathe into.” Every time I think of this, I picture some sort of sprite or other supernatural being hovering over me, breathing excitement and curiosity—and inspiration—into me, filling me and everyone else who experiences the same thing with rainbow light, and the intense wish to explore and create— everything .
Ludwig said—a little sadly—that the more pessimistic or jaded you become, the more you close yourself off from inspiration.
As we discussed this, Ludwig pointed out the similarity between pottery and ideas; though it’s always a good thing to start with a piece of quality clay, you still need to shape it.
As we walked towards the door, Ludwig noted how alike writers and composers are; after all, what is the difference between words and music, really? I agreed—they both take you into other worlds, on adventures unheard of in this one: both create a gateway between the dreamlands of words (or music) and our world, alleviating it of its burden of grief and pain, even if just for a moment….
Bidding smiling good-byes, we parted—hopefully to meet again next year.