Inspiration Map

My first attempt at an “Inspiration Map”.

I first saw one of these created by @shewhois on instagram and thought it was a great idea 🙂

From top left:

  • creative souls, David Bowie
  • the wild green world
  • strong women, Frida Kahlo
  • myths/archetypes, Jean Shinoda Bolen
  • colour
  • memories, dreams
  • symbolism, fauvism, Marc Chagall
  • spiritual thinkers, John O’Donohue, Anam Cara
  • details and patterns.

And just today I learned of the sad loss of Marion Woodman – she belongs in more than one of my nine squares.

a Tui in the rain

your black body lands on the green

sunlight strikes
and you flash emerald, turquoise and bronze
white-ruffed like an Elizabethan prince
outrageous elegance in this suburban garden

you pluck a purple berry from the Māhoe tree

I imagine …
you keep a ball of soot and sap tucked under your wing
and on rainy days like these you bring it out
spit berry juice over it and knead it into paste with one clawed foot
ready to make your mark

if I held my hand still
would you slip your beak into my skin
and ink your name, engrave a permanence
a sign of allegiance for the nights when you are hidden in the trees

I imagine …
writing a sonnet to your dark beauty
while I compose, you shriek and chortle
you fill your belly with violet pearls
your white bib staining amethyst
before taking wing to sing oblivious in the secret wood



(and in the meantime – imagine a photograph of bird footprints…I’m working on it)

I feel thoughts circling
words waiting to be touched
the birds waiting to land
who have always been with me
just out of sight
only approaching from the side
when I’m looking ahead
or looking back
or when I’m still
eyes closed, mind open, listening
then they come

black birds of the imagination
bones bleached white in memory
feathers full of dreams
songs and claws and tails and wings

they strut and hop across the page
leaving spiky footprints, unbound symbols
runes of divine connection

or gently, they lower one wing
to deceive, or to start over
brushing the page clean

sometimes, they are so sure of their song
they stab with their beak
straight through, and pin it to the page

all I can ever do
is trace a line from the edge of one footprint to the next
and trust in the story
they want told


this imaginal space – draft pt.xii

a month ago
three emissaries from the green-world
visited in the trees outside my house

a trio of plump white-chested kereru
a confirmation, affirmation
why else come for one day, and never again
except to tell me, there is a story to be told

I know why they came
I know who they represent

we find what we look for
synchronicity occurs when we pay attention

my prayer is observation and question
imagination is my promise and reply



this imaginal space – draft pt.viii

there are nights when you are invisible
and imagining where you are when the sky is dark
is the beginning of all our fireside stories
while I wait in this imaginal space
I shift beyond the tangible
into realms of intuition and myth

darkness turns to light
and every time you return you affirm my trust
the endless cycle of renewal is the beginning of love



we find what we look for

We find what we look for.

It sounds simple, but just sit with it for a while.

I found myself thinking this when I was listening to reports about the recent discovery of gravitational waves. Einstein first had the idea 100 years ago and people have been searching ever since.

And I wondered – if Einstein hadn’t imagined this, hadn’t posed the possibility – would anyone have been looking? Would they have recognised what they saw and heard without his theory to frame the signals? And amazingly, the timing was so perfect that the LIGO detector was turned on just weeks before the gravitational waves passed over our earth. That’s synchronicity on a grand scale!

Of course, if we’re not looking we’re not likely to find much. We might be lucky and stumble across things, or be fortunate to be offered things that meet our needs. But without looking, without paying attention with some sense of what we need to find, we’re walking through life backwards, only recognising what might have been when its passed behind us.

So I think the clearer we can be about what we want, the more creatively we can imagine, and set our intention toward it, the more likely it is that we’ll discover what we need, what makes our heart sing, what makes us whole. We can think about this as setting goals, or visualisation, or even manifestation. I think what’s important is the thought and the intent.

And in the context of space, so enormous that everything seems possible, its almost as if anything we can imagine, once looked for, will be found.

I do start to wonder whether our imagining can be a truly creative, generative act, that actually brings our thoughts into existence. A friend has talked about this for some time, and now, thinking about it this way, it makes sense to me.

We find what we look for.