Oberlin Blogs

The Inspiration Behind Inspiration

September 16, 2021

Tim Martin ’22

What inspires inspiration? On the long days that seem short when you have short tasks that seem long how do you make sure those tasks get done? Does it matter if they do get done? Today feels like a long day because my calendar is free and I’m just jumping from hour to hour. Maybe I’m looking for inspiration as I jump. I stare out the window and see the sun magnify the green of the trees to the point where they are still vibrant even though my eyes are contactless. I’m not wearing my contacts today because it’s not always important to be focused. There’s beauty in being unfocused. I think I may have spent the whole summer unfocused. My mind wandered from place to place while I allowed my body to do the work that was necessary to continue moving my life in a forward direction. I’m trying to leave no stone unturned. Some stones can be harder to turn over than others. Some stones are stuck in the mud and have been for some time. Sometimes you may be stuck in the mud too. I was listening to an Andre 3000 song the other day where he pondered whether his mother’s presence speaks to him through a prick of the grass. It made me look at grass differently. It made me think about inspiration differently. It really is the small things that make life beautiful. The small things that get you through the bad days and the small things that turn the good days great. 

Does inspiration come when you least expect it? Should I continue to write if I am uninspired? A small groundhog lived next to Barrows Hall during the summer. I would occasionally see him nibbling on food as I walked by. If he ever realized you were looking at him he would turn his head and stare in a direction opposite of you as if that made him disappear. Maybe in the moments when inspiration isn’t around that is what inspiration is doing. Always present just looking in a different direction right now. I’ve never been inspired when looking for inspiration, and the groundhog has never looked at me while I was looking at him. I just try to plan ahead while simultaneously letting life come to me.

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