inspiration is for dust

June 30th, 2010

I’ve been handed my most significant writing gig in a year, and . . . what can I say? I’m not inspired. Should I go looking?

No. I never go looking for Inspiration. I let it arrive, and it does, as surely as a breath.

I have no doubt that eventually, and right on time, the temperature will rise, the molecules will combine and the conditions will combust in a peculiar gust of words that skitter across the page. They will gather mass and velocity, direction and duration, and conclude themselves before my deadline. How does that happen? To tell you the truth, I have no idea. It’s like asking how an inhalation turns into an exhalation.

The waiting is torturous, although I’m not really waiting, and I’m not really tortured. I’m busying myself with what comes along, like writing this post on Inspiration, because I promised to follow up the earlier post about Information, and because the universe is prompting me. That’s what happens, you see, by itself. Inspiration arrives in invisible bits and fits, vapors and swirls, and it’s only when something comes out of it, something is done with it, that it can properly be called Inspiration.

Inspiration is the thing that got you here, but of course it’s not here.

Last week I was in Vroman’s bookstore in Pasadena and I naturally inspected the stock of Hand Wash Cold. They had several copies on the shelves under Inspiration. I was happy to find it on the shelves, although you know by now I have a curious relationship with that thing called Inspiration. The Vroman’s staff is very good to me, though, and they’ve been taking the book from the back of the store and stacking it beside the cash registers. That’s where it appears in front of a shopper’s unsuspecting eyes and they do something with it. They buy it. Inspiration is for dust, but the action front and center in our lives, my friends, is enlightened.


I’ve done quite a few radio interviews for Hand Wash Cold. I’ve talked to people who liked me and who didn’t like me; those who read the book and those who only read the back cover of the book; those who wrangled or mangled my name. But none have been quite as inspiring as this one, an hour-long one, with a 13-minute prelude in which you can learn something really inspiring about meditation’s remarkable effectiveness in treating anxiety. Enlighten yourself by doing something with it right now.


  1. And isn’t it lovely to know that by simply telling your stories of waiting for inspiration to come take your hand, you are inspiring so many others.

    Comment by Swirly — June 30, 2010 @ 1:47 pm

  2. It feels as if you are sitting next to me whispering in my ear this last week as your words have been so very personal to me. I’ve seen your fingerprints all over my life lately which means to me your inspiring words/retreats have led to some sort of enlightened action from this particular being. May knowing the impact of your actions allow this inspiration and enlightened action circle to thrive and grow.

    Comment by Joan — June 30, 2010 @ 3:46 pm

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