Five of My Favorite Things
For inspiring creativity
Welcome to this new monthly Page Fright column, where I share five links to writings, quotations, and art that inspire me to write and create. I hope they do the same for you and that you’ll also share your own sources of inspiration in the Comments section!
A creativity website
The Marginalian, formerly known as Brainpickings, by Maria Popova, is an amazing site (and newsletter) for information and inspiration. Popova writes about books, the arts, philosophy, culture, and other subjects, and makes brilliant connections among them that are intellectual yet approachable.
e.e. cumming’s “I thank you god for most this amazing” is my go-to poem when I need a lift. To me, it’s spiritual rather than religious, and it reminds me not to take life or nature for granted. It also demonstrates how an artist can push (or pull) an art form in an unprecedented direction and leave a permanent mark.
Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present is the best documentary about an artist I’ve ever seen. I show it to my creativity class every semester, and they are spellbound while watching it and have so much to say afterwards. Abramović is called the Godmother of Performance Art, and her originality, fearlessness, and dedication—three traits I deeply admire—are on clear display here.
The Good Mother by Sue Miller, is the novel, perhaps more than any other, that made me want to become an author. I admire the ways in which Miller manages to create an intimate world of characters that feels absolutely real and also how she sets up an ethical dilemma with no easy solutions for the protagonist. While I haven’t written a novel (yet), this early inspiration continues to motivate me as a writer in creative non-fiction, as well.
I could stare at a Mark Rothko painting for hours (and I believe I have). I’ve never read how he creates the other-wordly shimmer effect he’s known for, and I don’t care. Sometimes I just like to be gobsmacked by the mystery that is art.
Orange and Yellow by Mark Rothko, 1956
What moves you to write/create? If you’d like, please share a source of inspiration for you. And thank you, as always, for being part of this growing writers’ community!