Inspiration

Yolanda Lopez’s image of the seamstress as Virgin Mother is especially inspiring to me because my mom was a seamstress from the age of 16 to her retirement, and she held our family together with a strong work ethic and a great deal of faith.

The word “inspire” is especially important to writers–whether poetry or prose. It derives from the Old French “inspiracion” which means “inhaling, breathing in; inspiration” (c. 1300).

The earlier roots of the word are from the Latin “inspirare” which means to “breathe upon.” (For those of you familiar with the Old Testament, consider the implications of the moment when God breathes life (spirit) into Adam.)

In Middle English “enspire,” (borrowed from Old French and Latin) was originally used to describe a divine or supernatural being who imparted truth to others.

This twinned idea of “breath” and the translation of truths from the divine to the human realm are integral to all of us as writers–lower-case, modest “truths,” anyway. The poetic line, and well-written prose, has breath. It is a line that can be breathed, spoken. It expresses the voice of the writer, and it attempts to express an observed truth about our world, our experiences in the world.

I hope we can all start the New Year in a positive, creative frame of mind. My best wishes to you and yours. May the New Year be filled with much joy, good health, and inspired productivity! Cheers, Liz