Sunday, November 21, 2010

And from this inspiration...

...came this:

silent symphony
sounds pile
one upon another
to create the unheard
layers of my life

when i stop
to eavesdrop
on all this silence
i begin to hear
this other world
of my unnoticed
constant soundtrack

the clack
of the keyboard
in staccato rhythm
as i type
for each thought
then machine gunning
through the ideas

the trickle of water
from the lap
of the Buddha
nestled in the corner
spouting forth tranquility
while serenely holding
the LED lotus
of enlightenment
from which the cats
constantly sip

the burble and tick
of the pot on the stove
joyously sending
clouds of cinnamon
and cumin scented comfort
throughout the house

the muffled DONK
as the computer
signals another attempt
to communicate
with the outside world
returning from cyberspace
with an empty mail bag

all these sounds
are held steady
by the pulsing rhythm
and soft electrical hum
from the ever turning
hardly noticed fan
that vents poisonous fumes
from under the house
keeping me alive
to ignore another day

in this silent symphony
the cough i make
as i clear my throat
seems murderously

Saturday, November 20, 2010


This is what I sent to the students who did not receive an inspiration email from their classmate. Maybe it can provide some inspiration for you!

If you still have not received anything then you can use this: ugly things. I often see beauty where others see only ugliness. I have photos of decaying things that I find to be very inspirational. A decaying old house can be a metaphor for lost dreams or for new beginnings as nature takes it back. Saplings growing in a former living room; the juxtapsotion of the loss of a human home balanced by the hope of the tree is very exciting to me. The spirals of cracking paint become nurseries of fungus and lichens that can now feed on the rotting wood underneath. In fact, the very lumber used to create the house came from a forest somewhere. Is it ugly for something to return to what it originally was? Is the face of an old person, lined with wrinkles and scars, ugly because you are reminded of your own mortalitly, or beautiful because it is a mask of experience and life?

Hopefully that will provide you with some inspiration.

Peace - Beth

If you have not received anything yet, here is an inspiration for you: the beach. It is the point where one world (the sea) blends with another (land.) It reminds me of all edges. When does inside become outside? What does it mean to stand between two worlds? Who decides where one thing ends and another begins? It's really about perspective and perception... Hope that is inspirational.

Peace - Beth

For me the sun is an inspiration. It provides food for plants, which in turn provide food for everything. It is a source of joy and is associated with new beginnings (the dawn.) It is also unimaginably (at least for me) large and I can't even fathom its temperature. The fact that the very thing that gives life to this planet could also destroy it if we were only a little closer moves me in a very profound way. The line between life and death is so thin...

Hope you can find inspiration in that somewhere. :-)

Peace - Beth

OK. Rain inspires me. It is such a miracle to me that water can come from the sky, even though I understand all the scientific reasons why it happens. It has more to do with the mood it sets. During a warm summer rain, it comes as a welcome break to the heat. I can sit on my porch, or even in the rain, and feel the nourishing quench of the rain as it soaks into the dry ground, quenching the plants and me. But in the fall, or even winter, when it is cold, the rain is no longer my friend, but an enemy of 1000 razor blades bent on shredding my face. Cold rain is depressing whereas warm rain is rejuvenating to me. How can the same thing (rain) be such different things to me? What is it about emotions that can have such an impact on our perception of how things are???

I hope that helps.

peace - Beth

So here is a fun inspiration. What is something that sticks out to you where you are right now? What are you aware of? Jot it down and see if you can expand on your first impressions. From there, see if you can build that into something. I got this idea today from Facebook. A folk singer I like posted it on her blog. Here is what she posted and what I replied:
Carrie Newcomer
In my workshops I often ask folks to write a one line specific description of something they really noticed (saw, heard, tasted, touched or smelled) that day. Often when we read them aloud it sounds like a poem or an amazing litany of small moments. What did you notice (really notice) today?
Beth Lykins
As I write this I can hear each sound around me creating the unheard layers of my life. The clack of the keyboard as I type, the trickle of water from the fountain in the corner, the burble and ticking of the stove as the pot of beans I jus...t put on bubbles, the muffled donk as the computer tells me I have yet another email to read, the distant whine of a car accelerating around the curve at the bottom of the drive, a muffled bark from a dog, the gurgle of my stomach as I think of the beans on the stove, all held steady by the pulsing rhythm of the soft hum from the fan that vents poisonous fumes from under the house. Enveloped in this silent symphony, the cough I make as I clear my throat seems murderously loud.

I found this exercise to be extremely inspiring. Hope you do, too!

peace - Beth

As for inspiration, I find inspiration in being told I cannot do something. Case in point, I was told that I cannot throw procelain on the wheel that would be thin enough to be translucent. I have developed a technique where I can do just that. It involved thinking about clay and wheel throwing in a way I had never done before. But I did it, and I am somewhat known for those pieces. It took me much more than a week to perfect, but the ideas and techniques that came from this challenge have lasted me a lifetime. Plus I have the satisfaction of being right! When someone tells me I can't do something, my mind immediately searches for ways to do it. I first look at the problems that are in the way of what I want to do and then I begin to isolate them. For each problem, I ponder ways to achieve the same goals, but using different means. If I need to bend the problem a bit to fit the reality of the solution, I can do that. Once I see a way to do it, I begin to experiment. So try this: You can't design something from nothing. If that seems too daunting, use birds as inspiration.

Peace - Beth