People say they are pursuing their inspiration. However, no matter how far you may travel, you can never reach the source of inspiration, because the source of inspiration is where you are now. What keeps you from inspiration is the shield you erect between you and the boring details of your life, the ordinary lackluster business of day-to-day living, the trivial nature of things in your immediate environment.
Let me find sources of inspiration you say so I can escape the smallness of my life. But inspiration starts with the trivial. The trivial, though small, is a seed that holds the potential of a tree. Unless you nurture the seed with your attention how will its potential blossom?
A musician becomes a musician by beginning with simple exercises of producing notes and the repetition of scales. Before there can be life in the composition there has to be life in each note, in each rhythmic pulse. Each brushstroke that goes into an inspired painting is inspired. Mastery consists of giving our full attention to details most people would feel are not worthy of their consideration.
When listening to music we tend to look to the whole composition for inspiration, to its intricate patterns, the web of connections between the parts. But before this can happen you have to tune in to the details. In fact, it may turn out that even a single note or melodic phrase reveals the heights of the composition. In Indian classical music, it is often acknowledged that the greatest part of a musical performance is not in the later section where the musician dazzles the audience with a crescendo of notes and rhythmic patterns, but in the slower section of the alap, in which the resonance of simple patterns of notes conjures up the depths, like a line sinking into deeper waters to catch the monster fish.
Nowadays much is made of the whole; that we can only know the part through its relationship to the whole. But I would say, you can’t love the whole unless you love the part. When you truly love the part you will find that the part reveals the whole. So don’t worry about getting the whole right. Begin by giving your full attention to the part.
Mastery does not consist in seeking great things but in being present to small things, to the boring details. If your life is lacking in inspiration, then maybe you might have another look at what you take to be boring. You just might be surprised.