Tag Archives: inspiration

October 8, 2015

I have been wondering a lot lately about creativity. I am spending several hours a day writing essays about incredible origami artists, using my own creativity as a writer to attempt to capture the essence of their work in just over 1,000 words. Of course, images will accompany the text so that their creativity will be clear for all to see however successful my words are. During this ongoing writing process, I notice that on some days the words and ideas flow smoothly as if a tap has been turned on in my mind, while on other days (quite a few, unfortunately), there seems to be something lodged inside the tap jamming the passageway so that nothing of any value can escape. Then quite often lately, I might be feeling satisfied with my writing for the book and have been ready for a rest, but then I realize I still have to write my blog. On those days, as I sit back down in front of my computer, neck and shoulders aching and head feeling very blank, I ask myself where I’m supposed to find more creativity today. Where does it come from in the first place? Do we have a finite supply of it? Does it appear in cycles? And how are we supposed to find it again if we lose it?

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July 24, 2015

Today was the preview of the book fair at our local Silver Lake Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. Because I have serious trouble resisting kids’ books that cost just a quarter, I rushed over there and spent 20 minutes sifting through the many volumes and came away with five kids’ titles for my son Theo and his cousin Kaia and one for me. I simply couldn’t resist buying Bill Clinton’s book Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World. In it he discusses the many different ways people can give, either, money, time, things or skills, and spotlights certain individuals from Bill and Melinda Gates to a six-year old California girl who have been driven at some point in their lives to give. I am eager to dive into this book for new ideas and inspiration.

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January 5, 2015

Some people we meet inspire us to change things about ourselves. My good friend Cheryl is one of those people for me. I met her first as my chiropractor. I had some problems with my lower back and over the course of several visits, she was able to make some adjustments to my spine to align my vertebrae again and relieve my pain. But it was the adjustments she made to my head that have been more lasting. One of the busiest people I know, Cheryl not only built a successful career as a chiropractor but has spend a life of activism, protesting wars and unfair political or social practices, marched for women’s rights, feeding the homeless during the holidays, planting gardens in blighted spots in the neighborhood, counting whales for an international census, and pushing local businesses to consider their impact on the environment. One day when I was ranting to her about how much I hate Styrofoam, she invited me to join the green committee she had established for the local Chamber of Commerce. As part of this group, I was able to work with other people like her who not only got upset about environmental destruction and waste but also tried to change people’s attitudes and behavior. At first I felt I had nothing to contribute to such a group, but with encouragement from Cheryl and the others, I joined them campaigning against plastic bags, organizing Earth Day events and teaching kids at my son’s school the importance of recycling their lunch trash. Thanks to her inspiration, I plucked up the courage to run a series of programs on sustainable living at the local library and write a green column for the local paper, all of which contributed to my desire to write this blog.

Cheryl also loves art and a few years ago shared with our family an amazing documentary film, Between the Folds, which spotlights the work of several contemporary origami artists. I watched in awe and immediately wanted to curate an exhibition of these artists’ work. My first traveling origami exhibition, Folding Paper, opened in 2012 and is still traveling around the US, and my second Above the Fold, opens this month. So what to give to someone who has inspired my professional and volunteer life so much in the past decade? Well, like me, Cheryl loves art, origami and books and hates waste, so I decided to give her my copy of Trash Origami, one of the many wonderful origami instruction books by Michael G. LaFosse and Richard L. Alexander. The book explains how to recycle waste such as gum wrappers, junk mail and cardboard boxes into butterflies, gift boxes and board games. As she folds her trash into beautiful works of art, I hope Cheryl takes a moment to realize that she has been a terrific model to others of how not to waste a life.