I've been thinking often of my word for the year: inspire. I'm feeling incredibly inspired lately, especially now that spring has arrived in full force here in Portland. I have a huge writing project to finish, and for the first time, I can honestly say the end is in sight. So, thank you soft spring air and blooming cherry trees, and cheerful muscari. Somehow all this growth and renewal gets me to writing.
|Photo by prairie girl studio|
I also am feeling inspired by friends both far and near. One friend in particular is on my mind today. Her name is Aeleen, but perhaps some of you know her better as prairie girl. She is back to blogging these days, and her gorgeous photos and words are more inspiring than ever. You can visit her here. Also, Aeleen was the winner of my London Treasures Giveaway, so if you're curious about what goodies I gathered while on my trip, she and one of her sons have created a wonderful post about the package. When you read it, you'll discover that Aeleen has been through a great deal in the past several weeks. I'm holding her and her family in my heart as I write this.
The photo above is of one of the Murano glass eggs I included in the parcel. I think she and Jesse have taken a pretty object and turned it into something spectacular. That's what Aeleen does with everything she photographs. She notices detail in a way that never ceases to amaze me. She also has a heart of gold. Truly. Perhaps that is what inspires me most.
And finally, the photo above is of my big brother when he was a wee lad. Mark celebrated his birthday this past week. He's now just a few
years decades older than he was in this photo. I've never mentioned him here on the blog before, so I hope he doesn't mind. Ever since I can remember, my brother has inspired me with his artistic talent, his quick wit, his insatiable curiosity, and his deeply caring soul. When we were kids I loved to watch him draw ornate pictures of houses and flowers and fantasy race cars in his sketch book, and I would follow him pretty much anywhere he would let me. I especially liked searching in the woods with him for treasure . . . or hanging blankets in the attic to make a fortune teller's tent . . . or building elaborate sand castles encrusted with shells and sea glass at the beach. No matter what we did, everything with my brother felt like an adventure. I love this picture of Mark with our kitten Sharon in his arms, because it captures who he was then and who he still is now. He has taken in countless injured, ailing, and homeless animals over the years, providing them with shelter and boundless love. He has also offered incredible support to me whenever I've asked--and often when I haven't. We've lived far apart for most of our adult lives, but no matter how many years pass, I can just close my eyes and he's in the bedroom next to mine, Led Zepplin or Janis Joplin cranked up to 10. I can just knock on the wall if I need him, and I know he'll always knock back.