Category Archives: Inspiration

The Creative Catalyst

I’m not someone who has a lot of faith, but the little faith I do have, I put into searching for moments. And occasionally the moments that I seek, and that I desire, arrive.

Since returning home to Australia, my creativity has flatlined. Life has taken up the space where creativity grows, numerous half-finished projects before me with little insight into how they will be finished. Images of never achieving that to which I aspire gain greater clarity with each passing day. It’s as though I feel the gravitational spin of the earth more acutely and have a greater awareness that time is running out. But the act of writing something, anything, lately has brought me pain and I’ve wanted to avoid it. So, for the most part, I have.

SusanOrlean

The catalyst

The last week, I watched a short film. But it was not the subject matter that inspired me, but the experience. It stirred something in me. Like an old car – coughing, spluttering – my creative soul awoke. After hunting around for it, finding something that truly inspires me gives me such a thrill! Great ideas were released, unleashed, and my hand struggled to keep up the pace as they poured forth.

Inspiration = elation, energy, excitement

This new inspiration has produced great feelings of elation, energy and excitement. By opening myself up to new experiences, it proved a catalyst for unlocking the next layer, one that I had been labouring in vain to unlock for myself.

For me, creativity doesn’t work like that — something you can flip on with a switch. My creativity needs external input and action and laughter and sadness and elation and moments of brevity. Maybe that’s what it is I seek when I travel: Moments of magic, moments like this.

And so I dance: a choreographed movement of starting and stopping, of being inspired and searching for the inspiration, of squandering time and trying to improve my inner discipline. I’ve not known anything different. Only with each sequence comes greater urgency, greater force.

Hemingway

A new period of creativity

But right now, I am in tune with my own ability to create and I am celebrating being back in this space and being inspired. But this is not the easy part. Actually harnessing the energy to sit down and write is tough. It requires moments of reflection, development, problem solving, projection, discussion, revision. But it’s what I love to do. It’s what drives me. And I know I’m not alone in finding the whole process challenging.

I opened my ideas book to see I’ve already had at least ten other ideas of varying degrees of awesomeness, and they’re all worth pursuing in some fashion. So now, I’m switching off, plugging in to the world of my characters and trying to see where they will take me.

Today My Grandma is 90

Today is my Grandma’s 90th birthday. And it’s not everyday you make such a significant birthday and I’m very thankful I am at home to celebrate with her. In a few hours, we’re going to be having a high tea for her.

HONEYMOON (1)

I was allotted the task of compiling the photos to display at the event. And I came across some amazing ones from the family archives — it was wonderful seeing all the photos of her as a young girl, new bride and new mother.

IMG_0103

L-R: Grandpa, Elvie (Grandma’s little sister), Grandma

One of the things she loved to do back in the day was cruise around in the sidecar of my Grandpa’s motorbike. This is a pic of her lunching on her honeymoon at the Entrance in 1953. I love that she was a bit of a badass in her day, because the only way I’ve ever really seen was as ‘Grandma’.

HONEYMOON (6)

Happy 90th Grandma! Love you lots.

Photo Friday: Inner Sunset, SF

“I’M HURDLING LIKE THE OCEAN TOWARDS YOU”.

IMG_6315b

I was wandering around the Inner Sunset last June, when I stumbled upon this, a beautiful piece of art by Alphonzo Solorzano It was prominently displayed in the window of a small business just off Judah and framed by heavy, deep blue curtains.

But this moment and the visual stayed with me: ‘hurdling’ with a sense of urgency, a flurry of tremendous activity covering vast distances like the Pacific. I’ve spent countless hours searching the waves for signs, for comfort, for change. I’ve been in, on, under and above it. But most of all, I need to be near it. My various current ‘lives’ are connected by an ocean.

Whilst I see me in the physical reflection of the photo, it’s the words that echo the way I live my life — bouncing between two worlds. Hurdling, if you will. Those words for me also encompass all that I experience: hurt, happiness, homesickness, alienation, joy. Hurdling with a fearlessness masking the anxiety of fear, but it’s a hurdle I will always take for the adventurous spirit trumps inertia.

I’m hurdling like the ocean towards my life

Doing Backflips in San Francisco

Last week, we shook off the minus double digits of the Chicago winter in favour of sunny, clear 23C in San Francisco.  We spent some time wandering my old ‘hood. A few things had changed, but not much.

San Francisco is still a place that makes my heart do backflips. It possesses a natural beauty, but there’s much more to the city than a bunch of buildings on a peninsular surrounded by water. There’s a vibe, a magnetic field. I feel real there. I feel like me.

RR SF v3

 “San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal. That is the whole truth.”
– William Saroyan

SF is still my favourite city in the world. I’ve found nothing else that compares.

Kate Bush is my Spirit Animal

If you’ve been following me on social media for any length of time, you may have noticed that I really dig Kate Bush.  And, right now, I’m knee-deep in my current Kate Bush phase.

There’s something about her that’s interesting, magnetic. She unleashes my alter ego: a more outrageous, gregarious, interpretative dancing version of myself. So I have to restrain myself when I’m listening to her with headphones. She makes me sing out loud and dance up a storm. 

In short:  Kate Bush is my spirit animal.

Everything about this film clip is pure perfection. And I would have loved to participate in this event in Brighton alongside 300 other Kate Bush fans in recreating one of my favourite videos of all time.

And if someone wrote a biopic of Kate’s life, I’d cast Cate Blanchett.

KateCate2

I’ve long thought that Kate Bush and Cate Blanchett were separated at birth, despite the fact that more than ten years separates them.

KateCate1

Hollywood — you know where to find me if you need a red dress-wearing gregarious interpretive dance extra!

Tell me — who inspires you?

Ode to the Chicago Winter

The American put the finishing touches on this new short film, ‘Ode to the Cold Chicago Winter’ a few days ago, and we released it into the world.

It’s a perfect day to kick back, snuggle up and enjoy a leisurely look at the freezing steam coming from the buildings and homes across the city. It’s something I find beautiful.

Let me know what you think!