Inspiration

Jun 29 | Posted by: Andrea Zonn |

It’s such an amazing concept.  I find myself alternately seeking it, and being knocked over by it.

 

I haven’t written any music in over a year.  Before that, it was 15 years.  I was afraid of not being good.  I thought I was waiting for inspiration.

 

Lately, my little son is inspiring me.  I am awed at his growth.  At eight and a half months, he’s learning about the world, and his relationship to it, at a ridiculous pace.  He’s crawling, standing up, talking, every waking moment, right up until he simply can’t deny slumber any longer, he’s studying the way his hands move, or trying to make some new sound come out of his mouth.

 

Today, I have been inspired countless times.  I read a few of Jann Arden’s blogs.  What a beautiful spirit she has.  I’ve long been a fan of her music, but her prose is gritty, real, sincere and insightful.

 

I heard a wonderful feature on Victor Wooten on All Things Considered.  Victor talked about his technical studies as a child – ground breaking, for anyone not familiar with his bass playing.  But the interview was centered on his new album, which is very much a spiritual exploration.  He spoke of the inclination of many of us musicians, who lock ourselves away in a room practicing for years.  Chops, yes, you get.  But he spoke of the importance of getting out into the world and living your life, in order to bring that critical dimension to your performance.  How eloquent he was.

 

I was inspired by the kindness of my dear friends, Catherine and Aaron, who invited me to dinner at a moment’s notice.  As my dad used to say, “you can’t get that in a restaurant.”  He used to say that when he was proud of a meal.  He was right to brag.  And he was right about not being able to find anything that good, made with that kind of love, in an intimate setting.  The sounds of a home.  From the outside looking in, Catherine and Aaron have the kind of relationship I aspire to find one day, and I told them so.  They’re daughter in two months older than Leonard, his best gal-pal Rose.  And she’s all smiles.  At the center of an amazing love story.

 

Inspiring indeed.

 

And I received an email from my friend Holly, a music critic and journalist, critiquing the morbid abyss she found on her recent visit to her television news station.  Her thoughts and words filled me with compassion.  And inspiration.

 

I used to think inspiration’s target for me was in songwriting.  If only I could make an idea tangible enough, I could form a song that meet my own standards.  Part of that is still true.

 

But in the last many years, as I’ve grown older and wiser, I’ve come to realize that inspiration has always driven me.  I’m inspired to grow spiritually.  To be more and better than I was yesterday.  To continue the becoming of who I was intended to be.  I’m inspired by kindness.  I’m inspired by excellence.  I’m inspired by compassion.  I’m even inspired by tragedy, for it drives that voice of complacency to silence.

 

Lately, I’m inspired to show up.  Certainly for Leonard.  And finally, for myself.  It seemed that good self care was hard to justify before he came along.  But the gravity of the importance of good self care is undeniable now.  He needs me.  I don’t want to be 40.  But it’s going to happen.  I realized the other day, that I missed a lot of great fashion by being overweight for the last 20 years.  Next year, when I hit 40, I’ll be at a healthy weight.  But I won’t be gallivanting around in the stuff I used to want to gallivant around in.  Oh, well.  I’m coming to peace with my wrinkles.  And my greys.  It’s okay.  But I will be strong and energetic, and I’ll be a good mother.

 

I desire those around me to show up, too.  But sometimes they don’t.  And that’s okay, too.  At the end of the day, we’re all doing our personal best, no matter what that looks like.  And despite the best intentions, we, as humans, fail one another.  And that’s why we go to God.  He never fails us.  As for the humans, when we know better, we do better.  Sometimes the knowing is a long time coming.

 

As for inspiration, I AM inspired.  I wrestle with my desire to fulfill my ambitions, and the need for rest.  The demands of single motherhood are mighty.  And I love those demands.  When the baby sleeps, I can race to get things done.  But there are never enough hours.

 

Ah well.  All is as it’s intended to be.  And I remain hopeful, and optimistic.  Maybe tomorrow, I’ll cross a few more things of the list, and maybe that idea will become tangible enough to write that song.

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