Good morning, everyone. It’s certainly morning, but I struggle with the ‘good’ part when I have to hit the ground running at 6 am. For those of you who don’t know me very well, I’m not a morning person. I mean, I get my best work done before noon, but not predawn. That’s way too early.
Anyways, in a post, my dear friend, Nancy, asked people to do the following: Name five things that inspire us.
I came up with seven. Here they are, in no particular order:
One: butterflies. They represent change, they’re resilient and strong, and they’re unique and beautiful.
Though we don’t quite go through the drastic metamorphosis they do, they’re a reminder that transformation is possible and good.
I see them as resilient, because they have so many predators, ranging from dragonflies and spiders to birds, lizards, and frogs. Yet, they’re survivors.
Butterflies span approximately 17,500 species. They’re different, colorful, detailed, and beautiful.
Two: singing and performing. Putting myself in the role of whoever is singing the song invigorates me. Performing the piece at a recital or in some other public space heightens the excitement exponentially.
In January, I sang “O Mio Babbino Caro,” from Pucchini’s comedy opera Gianni Schicchi, at an in-person voice recital. The piece involves Lauretta singing and pleading with her father to permit her to go to Porta Rossa to buy a ring with the love of her life – Rinuccio. If he doesn’t let her, she threatens to commit suicide by jumping in the Arno. I introduced the song (because people may not be familiar with the piece or know Italian) in character. And then I sang as if I were Lauretta and I were begging Daddy to let me be with Rinuccio.
For those few minutes, I got to be someone else and totally be melodramatic without getting into trouble. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Then, as you may have read in my most recent post, I sang in a Zoom voice recital this past Sunday, where I sang “Think of Me” from The Phantom of the Opera. Putting myself in Christine Daaé’s place and singing the song (after a very upset Carlotta storms off the stage), was fun.
Three: craft chocolate. They’re gorgeous works of art, they’re tasty, and I love supporting chocolatiers. Fair trade is pretty important, too. Need I say more?
Four: Artsy Contests. I’m not sure whether I’ve always been privy to and excited about participating in contests, but I, for sure, have been lately.
In February, I found out I won a sushi photo contest put on by my favorite sushi restaurant in town – Sushi Den, and I got a generous gift card as a reward.
Then, more recently, on Monday of last week, I was notified that I’m one of four finalists in a flavor contest for Temper Chocolates and Confections, a local craft chocolate shop. This was my recommended name and flavor: The Sayuri – cherry infused dark chocolate sake ganache in a dark chocolate shell.
What does being a final four mean?
For the entire month of November, the store will sell the four finalists’ creations as a boxed set of four. People can purchase the box of bonbons, try each flavor, and vote for their favorite. The individual whose flavor gets the most votes will then become the winner, and the prize is pretty stinking cool.
Whether you’re local or out-of-town, buy a box in store or online, and vote for me, your favorite artist/writer/photographer, next month. K? Thank you for allowing me to share that shameless plug and supporting me.
I love contests that encourage and invite my creative artist self out to play. A fun prize is a helpful bonus, too.
Five: Everyday life wonders.
This doesn’t require some special outing or trip. I only need to be intentional about observing and enjoying my surroundings. And I’m encouraged and inspired! Not a bad deal.
Six: Pippi Longstockings.
That’s not the only book that inspires me. Countless move me. But that character Astrid Lindgren created reminds me to never lose the child-like spirit.
Whether strangers, acquaintances, family, or friends, people never cease to impress me. For me, it’s never the perfect way of doing things that impresses me. Rather, I marvel at how people do life. And, I’m intrigued by individual differences as well as community mindedness. It’s all so fascinating and inspirational to me.
How about you? What inspires you?