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What’s Your Inspiration?

Published on 05/03/2012 by in Major Loss

What is Inspiration?

To me, inspiration is a motivating action or influence that results in creative works and productivity of all kinds that touches ones soul.

I have a few inspirations.  The first one in my life was a television meteorologist named Percy Saltzmen.  In fact, he’s the very reason why I started to learn about weather from the time I was a small child of 3.  Very few days would be allowed to go by without me seeing his weather forecast on Global TV throughout the 1970’s, and his famous chalkboard. He inspired me to learn, and when talking about something you love, to do so with passion. Those who know me, know how much I love weather, and just how much i can get caught up in talking about it.

My parents were of course sources of inspiration. Never did they tell me that i couldn’t have the sun and the stars, and by never showing me the path to capture them, allowed me to stand on my own, and find my own path. They are incredible people, and I love them dearly.

In my teen years, it was my dear friend Jessica Owen who was my main source of inspiration. She helped me see the light through some really dark days.  Though we never ‘hung’ around, and we were part of different groups, she lit in me a fire of determination in me that to this day has never faltered.  It is because of her wisdom, and guidance that allowed me to grow into the man I was to become. Very down to earth, and perhaps the warmest heart of any human I have ever encountered, she inspired me to see beyond the darkness. To look for, and find the best in every situation and everyone. She would play down her role in my life, but I know she impacted my life tremendously, and for that, I can never thank her enough.

The place on this earth that I find my soul regenerating the best, is a rock on the Bruce Trail between Ancaster and Dundas, Ontario. It’s on the main trail through the region, and from this huge rock  you could see over and down into the valley below. As a young kid, I spent a lot of time running, and hiking on these trails, and many a day with my Godfather, Peter, who was the Trail Master in Ancaster for more than 20 years.  We’d often go hiking up there (as it was just down the road from where I grew up), and have lunch or a snack on “My rock”.  Signs were erected by Peter letting people know that this was “Ian’s Rock”.  Even without Peter, I often found myself sitting on my rock, looking out over the valley below, and finding something new each and every time out.   In my teen years I learned that Mother Nature had sent my rock tumbling down in the valley below.  When i returned there many years later with Deann, and the kids. I had to take a moment to reflect on just how much that rock actually meant to me.  Seems silly now,  but i was in tears over the loss of my rock.  Ian’s rock, no more.

Our twins of course are a tremendous inspiration to me. I can see so much of myself in both kids.  Wyatt has a gentle heart, a kind and passionate soul.  He’s a giving lad with a heart of gold. Maresa is a focused and determined young lady. She never backs down from a challenge. She is shy, and hard on herself . She will be a great leader one day. They make me see things in myself that i had forgotten about, or never seen.  My only wish for them is to harness the good things about them, and work hard to turn their negatives, into positives.

Deann of course inspires me nearly everyday. I have never met such a strong woman. Though she will disagree with that statement, she is my rock. She has overcome so much in her life, and I see in her such strength and focus. She rarely complains about anything. She’s a caring and loving mother. She tries very hard to make each day the very best it can be.  Though we all have bad days, she tries never to let it get to her.  I have learned so much from Deann over our 15 years together.  Yes, 15 years ago this month, I went to Alaska for vacation, and my life changed forever.  Love you Dorkbutt!.

There is one other source of inspiration in my life, and it’s this poem by Rudyard Kipling.  I first encountered this poem in high school, when myself and a few friends would get together and talk about life, politics, religion, and have some great debates. I believe it was Kelly McCarthy who first read this poem aloud. As i recall it, we were sitting at Scott Silke’s kitchen table on a rainy Friday in the summer on 1986 or 87.  We had been discussing what “Infinity” was. Yes, that was quite the stimulating conversation, but alas, Kelly brought out a book, and started to read.  Now Kelly didn’t add flair, or gusto to the poem. He was not known for being a romantic, or have a passion for such things, in fact, I wouldn’t be suprised if that was the very first time he’d read it. But the words were strong and effective. The next day, I went to the library and found the work, and copied it out.  I had put it onto the back of my bedroom door, where it hung for many years.

I hope you will find your own inspiration from this poem.

‘if’ by rudyard kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

So, what inspires you?

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