We writers are supposed to know a thing about inspiration. Yet when faced with today’s Back to Blogging challenge, “write about a women who inspires you” I came up a little befuddled. Let’s face it, writing prompts and I have never been great friends.
I thought about all the women who inspire me: my mom, grandmothers, co-workers, friends, even authors I’ve never met. For a while I planned to center this post around writers Anne Lamott and Madeleine L’Engle who were both influential in prompting me to trust my pen and lead the life I do.
But a few things happened before I got around to writing that post. For one thing, I had a couple days off. The days off lead to a trip to Duluth, which lead to looking at woodstoves, which lead to a second trip to Duluth to purchase and transport a wood stove home. Before I knew it, it was time to go back to work and I had an article deadline staring me smack-dab in the face. And instead of writing this blog post in the morning like I’d planned, I worked on my deadline this morning and spent the whole day alternating between being mad at my deadline and being mad at myself for procrastinating. Now I’m writing this post at 8:15 in the evening, after finishing up the drafts of my deadline stuff. Supper might be a good idea. . . .
While I cursed my poor planning, railed against having to devote my evening to writing articles when I’d rather be doing so many other things, I took a minute to look at the article I was working on. The article profiles the work of our local domestic and sexual violence prevention center.
And I thought to myself, “Listen lady. Wake up and smell the roses. Stop looking for inspiration and open your eyes.”
So I blinked and looked back at my computer screen. In the article I was talking about
women who in the worst of conditions have the courage to tell their stories, to “change their stars.” And volunteers who devote their spare time to being trained and putting in on-call hours so they can help others overcome the affects of violence. These women are so much braver than I’ve ever been and most of the time we don’t even acknowledge that violence is a reality in every one of our communities.
If there isn’t inspiration in the stories of violence survivors, of people like S.A.R.K, of violence center volunteers, then I don’t know what inspiration is. They’re the people who actually wrestle again the hugeness of it all, who trust in change and healing even in the worst of situations. That’s something very few of us do.
Tonight I thought, maybe inspiration isn’t something about realization. It isn’t something that strikes from the heavens. Instead, it’s a re-remembering of something you always knew.