Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Just like breathing

During my high school years I learned a lot about words. That sounds like a pretty dumb statement, and it probably is, but I'm going to elaborate. I learned the roots of words. The head of the English department, who wasn't even my teacher at the time he began the whole root word extravaganza with me, came into my freshman English class and calmly and awkwardly worked out root words and their meanings. He would point to a half sheet of paper labeled 'sub-, hypo-' and in turn the class would chant, "Under, below, lacking."

This type of lesson is one of my favorites, and what I learned through our "vocabulary" time is essential now to my life. I plan to also use this form of teaching when I am someday in charge of my own high school English class. Not because it made me think, although it did, and not because it's a useful tool, although it is, but because this skill with root words I now have is cause for inspiration.

That is the word I want to talk about today. Inspiration. 'Spir' is a term for 'breath.' And as I sit here at my desk in my house in Washington and *not* at my desk in my dorm room in Illinois, I ponder how simple it is that I transfer from the schedule of classes and work to the strenuous task of... creativity.

What have I done so far? I have written two songs (and recorded one of them), I have made a pound's worth of junk out of clay (ok, it's not really junk), I have ********* (<--insert verb involving making boyfriend's Christmas present), I have painted and drawn pictures and now I'm writing.

This is my life at home. Making things... is just like breathing. It is my natural tendency to bring out fabrics and paints or go sit at the piano for hours when I am at home. It was this way during the summer, and when I return home I fall right back into place among the inhales and exhales of my artistic lungs. And inspiration, like so many things for artists, is something we can lose. However, I know I am in a place where it can always be found, and for now that's all I need.

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