Perhaps it arises from desperation…

You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London (1876 โ€“ 1916)

Families are the compass that guide us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.

Brad Henry (b. 1963)

Inspiration comes from within yourself. One has to be positive. When you’re positive, good things happen.

Deep Roy (b. 1957)

Weโ€™re taught to be ashamed of confusion, anger, fear and sadness, and to me theyโ€™re of equal value to happiness, excitement and inspiration.

Alanis Morissette (b. 1974)

Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind.

Johannes Brahms (1833 โ€“ 1897)

Being a father has been, without a doubt, my greatest source of achievement, pride and inspiration. Fatherhood has taught me about unconditional love, reinforced the importance of giving back and taught me how to be a better person.

Naveen Jain (b. 1959)

Inspiration comes of working every day.

Charles Baudelaire (1821 โ€“ 1867)

Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.

Carter G. Woodson (1875 โ€“ 1950)

Who knows where inspiration comes from. Perhaps it arises from desperation. Perhaps it comes from the flukes of the universe, the kindness of the muses.

Amy Tan (b. 1952)

Inspiration is a word used by people who arenโ€™t really doing anything. I go into my office every day that Iโ€™m in Brighton and work. Whether I feel like it or not is irrelevant.

Nick Cave (b. 1957)

23 thoughts on “Perhaps it arises from desperation…”

  1. Many thanks, David, for every appetizing morsel of your nourishing smorgasbord for thought on *inspiration.* ๐Ÿ™‚
    Having digested the lot, I can confirm Tony Robbin’s and Amy Tan’s *inspiration*-as-*desperation*, as might anyone who ever wrote to a deadline that didn’t kill them.
    But I think true “life-or-death” desperation has an involuntary survival trigger, like the flight-or-fight switch that telepaths a kind of theurgic SOS to the universe, while inspiration is more like a serendipitous gift one might stumble over while combing a beach with a divining rod.
    Eileen Caddy’s advice on *inspiration* and *revelation* — “Cease trying to work everything out with your minds” — resonates (in my mind) Socrates’ analysis of the ability of poets: “I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled poets to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or *inspiration*, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean.”
    Perhaps *inspiration* – such as that which impels a seeker of clarity to risk choking on Ortega y Gasset’s admonition to only sparingly sprinkle speech with such words as *inspiration*, lest they cloud one’s vision – perhaps *inspiration* is, as Norman Lindsay avers, a *label* for something which transcends intellect, logic, cogitation, reason and the words that the human primate’s rational faculty rode in on.
    In which case, *inspiration” of the artistic kind could only be understood by intellect metaphorically/allegorically/symbolically and only experienced in human consciousness intuitively, tacitly, like empathy, gratitude, wonder, curiosity, warmth and coolth, hunger and contentment, gravity and levity, love and faith — all words which veil an essential existential truth; which is probably ineffable, as the universe is probably infinite.
    This speaks to the *inspiration* of Khalil Gibran’s words (in my ideal model) that we’ll only understand one another when we’re reduced the language to seven words. But writing more than a lune, indeed a whole digest *inspired* by and in *gratitude* for your cornucopia of *inspiration* ๐Ÿ™‚ allows me to heed Van Gogh’s advice to never quench your *inspiration* and *imagination* or be a slave to your model. ๐Ÿ™‚

    “We’re always in the middle of two energies. Gravity is sinking you down; inspiration is pulling you up.” Mandy Ingber

    1. โค CES โค

      In which case, *inspirationโ€ of the artistic kind could only be understood by intellect metaphorically/ allegorically/ symbolically and only experienced in human consciousness intuitively, tacitly, like empathy, gratitude, wonder, curiosity, warmth and coolth, hunger and contentment, gravity and levity, love and faith โ€” all words which veil an essential existential truth; which is probably ineffable, as the universe is probably infinite.

      I think you’re spot on, CES. I love how you’ve processed all of the quotes and made a mini-essay out of them ๐Ÿ™‚

      I saw that quote by Mandy Ingber, but ended up not including it… but the quote about seven words, which you refer to, inspired this poem of mine:

      https://skepticskaddish.com/2021/06/10/seven-or-less/

  2. Excellent post. These inspirational quotes are enlightening. We can learn so much from them. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Particularly like London. From the undressed state of my posts, you can tell I take an idea, toss it into the air and see how many times I can hit it with a baseball bat it before it hits the ground. Good quote. Thanks, David. Happy 2022. Let’s have none of this 2021 BS from 2022; it either plays nice or, well, guess we don’t have any options, do we?

    1. toss it into the air and see how many times I can hit it with a baseball bat it before it hits the ground.

      Espie, I love your style and sense of humor – this analogy of yours is so apt! Your comments make me smile almost every time, and probably every time you intend them to ๐Ÿ™‚

      Happy New Year,
      David

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