Monday, November 30, 2009


today's 'what inspires you?' comes from a very special lady. when i first encountered susannah of petunia face, i felt like i'd found gold at the bottom of a shallow river, right in plain sight of everyone. i wanted to stand up in my waist high boots and scream 'booty! booty! i've found the booty!' to passing trailblazers and rattle my tin pans at the sky. i learned pretty quickly, however, that i am not the first person to unearth this treasure. i'm a bit behind the times, goldmining in the age of shopping malls.
 i feel like susannah and i would be friends in real life, aside from the interwebs. i could be wrong. but i don't think so. i mean, facebook tells me we're friends, so that's something, right?

Inspiration. Quite literally the words mean "breathed upon" in Hellenism or Hebraism, some ism anyway, though I'm pretty sure it's not Realism since we all know that in Realism "breathed upon" is loosely translated to "egg salad." Funny this, not so much me but the fact that I am thick stop stuck when writing about inspiration. Where is my god whispering wind into my fingers? Instead I hear my daughter calling from her room. Mommy, turn my ballerina on! I want juice! Where is Marshmallow? As I write this it is night and cold and I am waiting.

In college I learned about the Greeks, how inspiration supposedly drove them into ecstasy, or furor poeticus, a great band name should you be so musically inclined. Personally I think it was feta left sweating in the mediterranean sun too long as I have never been one to writhe at my laptop (though the word thistle does something for me).

And so it is that I have established what it is not, inspiration. For me, at least. Not mystical spirits or bad cheese, ballerina lights, not God or even MDMA. Instead I am left again with just this: a blinking cursor, the metronome of no next thought. You know what really sucks? When you stare too long at that blinking cursor and think nothing. Nuh-Thing. Nuh-Thing. Nuh-Thing. Like a turn signal down a 50 mile straight freeway, it begins to clear your mind even further, a one-worded zen koan like what is the sound of one hand typing? Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, the only real mantra I know from that Tina Turner movie with Angela Bassett.

And that's what it is, I think. Not Tina Turner or Buddhism (necessarily), but letting your mind wander. Nonsensical. Inspiration. Not even noticing when the light changes because you've already turned left into fugue. You know, when Krista first emailed me to ask if I'd guest post for her we exchanged a few emailed quips about asking someone to dance, and I think that actually comes closest: the metaphor of dance. And I say this as a bad dancer, too self-conscious, clumsy. A Virgo. I snap my fingers and clap my hands even though each time I do so I cringe don't do it! For fuck's sake stop! Snap, clap, shuffle ball toe. But it feels so good, you know? Maybe I raise my arms and clap above my head, snap at my sides, and before I know it my eyes are closed and I am dancing. Not well and into the woman behind me maybe, but I am dancing and I feel it, the way it moves through me. Fuck. Like a breath, doesn't it? A whisper, a wind, an ism. Inspiration. The goddamn Greeks are right and it's always the people who are following something deep within themselves that you most want to watch (read, hear, follow).

I would be remiss in not mentioning that the ecstasy of this denim dude comes courtesy of My Favorite and My Best, and that this particular dance inspired me and then some.



  1. Seriously, Sus...WHERE do you find these videos and photos?! I am dying laughing!! And also, I love your definition of inspiration.

  2. PS: K-I'm sorry I've been making your ovaries hurt. You make my gut hurt from laughing though, and my cheeks hurt from smiling, so maybe we're even? Even Steven? xo

  3. Oh goodness! I can't remember when I last laughed so over a video.
    But I have to say that you are an inspiration yourself. I have been reading some of your posts (and can't get enough!). I am astounded at how beautiful your soul is, despite the attacks against it. That in itself is a rarity, that pureness of spirit and joy of life.

  4. he still brings me much joy. man camel and all...

  5. Aw Krista, what a sweet introduction. And you're right--I totally feel like we'd be friends, too. That we ARE friends :)

    Honestly the great big www inspires me.

  6. I love this. I love the ecstasy of dorky dancing blowing through you. You go girl.
    Krista: good series, good idea. Thanks for this

  7. Dance like no one is watching :-)


use your kind words.