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By: Tim Moraca

Volunteer Tim expounds on inspiration

Where does inspiration come from? Surely that moment of blinding clarity, of previously unseen diagonal correlations cannot be forced; for if you could whip inspiration together like a batch of cookies, it wouldn’t be inspiring at all. It’d just be cookies, cookies that many had made and enjoyed before and, which, in their own right, are delicious. Point is, we all know what a cookie looks like and where a cookie comes from. Tangible, crumbly, chewy… butter from a cow, flour, sugar, and cocoa from plants… And inspiration? Best I can do is: crystal lasers shooting from the mind out into the universe and vice versa, which isn’t very helpful.

That “clarity” thing is a start. What is clarity? The experience of truth. Okay. Reality. Right. The absence of any exterior or interior distractions, most of which are our own fault. Blame’s a fun game until everyone loses.

Time for a huddle with ourselves. “Bring it in”—as coach would say; soothe all that sensory input slamming you right now; tell those wiggly little leaguers that constitute your awareness to “listen up!” Coach is speaking.

Shh… Do you hear that?

That’s you, breathing—pretty much the only thing you can count on in the universe… Tommy at shortstop misses ground balls more than your grandma’s birthday, and Wally behind the plate needs a sip off your dad’s beer every night to get the umpire to shush.

Inspiration, like great plays from so-so athletes, can’t be forced or even pursued. The trick is to be open to those crystal lasers, to have your mitt open or your bat ready and your eye on the ball. Breathing is an alarmingly necessary activity that can act as an anchor to openness. Breathing is the last thing that should be ignored. Awareness flourishes when you aren’t stuck in the quicksand of nostalgia, regret, and anxiety, and the moments of clarity of such awareness are when inspiration may strike highest.

Don’t go searching for inspiration, or you’ll strike out in three vicious whiffs of the bat. The opposing team’s parents’ chants of insults are no match for the aluminum concentration in your grip. Swing deftly at every moment by focusing on the dependability of that sweet air circulating and not next or last week’s muck out past the fences. Only then do homeruns come. Have a cookie after the game, and enjoy every bite as if it were the universe itself.

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