What is that saying? Something about “the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray“? Or we could go with “the Devil laughs when we make plans“. Either way, it’s clear that plans are not always meant to come to fruition. So why am I beating myself up so much that mine haven’t?
I’m perfectly happy with myself at last;
I’ve finally managed to shake off my past.
I know who I am and I know what I’m doing;
I have new dreams that I’m wholeheartedly pursuing.
Inspiration comes from a multitude of places. Some are obvious; an old memory, a song, something I’ve seen from the bus. Other times it’s conversations I’ve overheard. Other people’s lives that I’ve overlapped with mine for a few moments.
One very close friend inspires me a lot. He has this knack of asking questions that really make me think. They bounce around in my head for a couple of days until I have to get the words out. He’s been responsible for a couple of my favourite posts.
Other little things stick in my mind and are stored until my brain decides it’s time to let them out. Silly incidental things, like the lovely lady who is often on my bus after work. She’s probably in her early 50s and looks so kind and caring. Her gentleman friend meets her off the bus every evening with a gentle kiss, then he takes her bags and walks her home.
I think about them quite a lot, but my thoughts aren’t quite forming words yet.
The lad that gets on my bus in the morning, who flashes his monthly bus pass like a Federal Agent flashes his badge.
The Big Issue guy not far from work, who always tells me to take care of myself.
Little things like this give me so much inspiration. People surprise me and give me hope
It makes you wonder though, as you go about your day: whose lives are you inspiring? Who is turning what feels like a run-of-the-mill occurrence into art? A painting? A poem? Or even a lowly little blog post.
The best thing my gran ever did for me was take me to join the local library when I was 9. It wasn’t long before it became a weekly visit, every week I’d leave laden down with the maximum 8 books, and return the following week, all would be read and I’d be eager for more.
I read about animals, pirates, aliens – in fact, I read whatever I could get my hands on. I read about love, about hate, jealousy and trust. I learned which of those I wanted in my life. I explored desert islands, planets I’d never heard of, make believe worlds of elves and dragons and so many more weird and wonderful places.
To me, every unread book was an adventure waiting to be had. Inside the cover was a passport to another world. One I could visit whenever I wished. And the best thing about it was the world would stay with me long after the book was returned to the library. It was mine.
My childhood was fairly lonely; I grew up in a very small village with hardly any children of a similar age. Books were my refuge. They became my friends. Sometimes during the long days of summer I would get in 10 hours of reading per day. I would immerse myself in the book during the day and then dream about it at night.
Sometimes I was so taken by the world I had entered, that I tried to draw it; to capture it as I first found it. Alas, I’m no artist. But it didn’t matter. As a child it was the best homage I could pay to the creator of my new world.
Even now, I can come across a book I haven’t read for 20 years and reading it again is like catching up with somebody I once shared my life with.
My collection of books isn’t as big as it once was. I’ve tried to slim it down but my favourites will be there forever. There are books that comfort me after a hard week. Books that can give me that sometimes needed slap of perspective. Books that can hold me when I’m lonely.
There are so many places I’ve visited; I’ve seen famines in Ethiopia, genocide in Rwanda. I was in Derbyshire during an outbreak of the plague. I was in Castle Rock when a clown started taking children. I was with Anne Frank on 4th August 1944.
People talk about your life flashing before your eyes in near-death situations. What will I see? Will it be my own life history? Or will I see all the adventures I’ve been allowed to enter? I hope with all my heart that it’s the latter.
And the best thing about books? I will never run out. Authors all over the world are making brand new adventures for me every day. I’ll always have somewhere to escape to.