I’m a huge fan of real-life stories – I remember being mesmerized by Laura Ingalls Wilder and her adventures on the frontier, transfixed by the tragedy of Anne Frank. To read about these girls, so far removed from my world yet somehow very much like me, was to journey into possibility.
Over the years my interest in subjects has expanded to include Presidents, explorers, teachers. As I read their stories I find myself looking for the sparks that illustrate those unique qualities – courage, wisdom, creativity – that distinguish them from the many who shared their space. What is it about them that speaks to me? What lessons can I take from those I admire and bring into my own life, into the world?
Thus, my 2017 blogging adventure, “Inspired.” Over the course of the year I’ll present people, both well-known and known-to-me, who, through their actions, beliefs, or simply through their living, have helped me to look at things differently, think in new ways, aspire to create a more meaningful life.
Commitments tend to scare me – yet this one feels like the right way to dust off my writing wings and pretend I’m a Wright brother, or even Yuan Huangtou, who in the year 559 survived an experimental (and forced) glide by kite. Sure, he was executed afterwards, but first he soared! My hope is that this journey will also serve as a reminder that inspiration can be found everywhere, as long as we keep our eyes and minds open.
My first Inspirer will be a person, young as she is, who has shifted my life more than almost any other. A girl who from the very moment of her birth at less than 24 weeks began showing the strength that lies within the human body. Anyone who knows me knows about Olivia and her journey. There is no better person to kick off this series.
2016 was a crazy, exhausting year. If my resources were greater, perhaps I’d spend the coming one meditating in the mountains of Asia, hiking through the Alps with my St. Bernard, or writing in a Paris cafe. Times being what they are, blogging is a better fit for the budget.
But just you wait, you mountains – you haven’t heard the last of me.
I’ll end each of these posts with a quote. Often by my subject, other times by people whose words touch me. To start, wise words by an inspirer who went to be alone in a cabin in the woods, and left us all better off because of it.
“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.”
– Henry David Thoreau
May we all be inspired to elevate ourselves, as high as we can go.