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The Column icon The Column: Issue 31

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The Column is a monthly feature that explores the world of creativity and aesthetics.

Inspire Me
Mike de Sousa, Director, AbleStable

You're looking for the spark that fires your excitement. You desire inspiration, a place to begin, a place that will keep you burning through the early hours, a drive that will not let you rest until the creative act is done, at least in rough, in outline, at least enough so you can spend the days refining, molding, building on that kernel of clarity that possesses you. You cannot rest, you cannot let such a moment pass, for if you do it will not return...

I sit here in the dying minutes of my birthday determined to at least make a start on something new, something that will leave a minor milestone to return to one future day. I have spent the rest of this day working, with my family, in contact with friends, but I want, I need to spend a part, the final moments of this day, doing that which I love most, leaving some small shadow of myself to look on from afar, for others to connect with, a place to touch again in time. So here it is, a tall order, inspire me, what does? Something that for me connects emotionally, physically, intellectually.

The fragility of Inspiration

Inspiration may last but a moment, but its affects linger like the scent of freshly cut grass. An arousal of the mind, a sudden intuition, inspiration may be brought on by an external stimulus or an internal jump to attention that comes from an unknown place deep within oneself.

An inhalation of intoxicating emotion often speeds away so fast from the epicentre of our consciousness it dissipates if not contained in some way. Like a butterfly caught on the wind then hurried out of sight by a force unseen.

Perhaps it is that fleeting sense of something bigger than oneself that defines inspiration more than anything else. When inspiration strikes, fast action is required. The pen, the brush, the quickly tapping keyboard. It is a race against loss, and it is this race that fuels our desire to create when inspired.


It may be physical beauty, or ugliness, or someone who performs a selfless act, a wholly self centred act, an act of compassion, of horror, of tenderness, of recklessness. It may be our loss of another, our gain of a lover, our fear, our illness, our strength, our fall from grace, our courage in the face of danger, our hatred of a person close, our wonder at a person far. People now, at the very moment you read this word inspire, one, another.


There is a place. It may be large or small, light or dark. Full with colour, gray as smoke. This place may be new to you, or you may have seen this place a thousand times before. An ordinary room that seems transformed, an extraordinary vista out across the land and sea. The light, the sound, the smell, the taste of air. All become as one. Our sense of place can fill one with association, with remembrance, with occasion great or modest, a place can be the making of our dreams.


It may be from afar, or close as close can be. A small thing that on the face of it seems of little consequence, but at this moment enlightens you. A memory of childhood, an experience of great age, the events that shape us give us context as our nature gives us boundary. What happens day to day can be dull, but now and then we chance upon a moment when it seems what happens to us shines above the usual state of play, an extraordinary event that in our heart we know to be significant.


Ideas inspire. Ideas that are good, bad, or neither. The eradication of poverty. The call to a glorious war. The insight that the world holds more than our senses can convey. And when inspired we act. To act is to make happen. We may fail or succeed in our efforts, but the effort is our intuitive response to being inspired.

Who Inspires

You may be a leader who inspires through the power of rhetorical eloquence. Equally you may be a leader who inspires fear, terror, the worst that as a species we can muster. You may consider yourself ordinary, but the ability to inspire is not exclusive to the rich and powerful. Each one of us, no matter how humble, poor, or weak has the power within us to inspire. By example, by action, by word, by deed.

Inspire Me

What I've found most powerful as I've scratched the surface with my words, is how inspiration is unquestionably all around us, undisclosed, undiscovered, close at hand, at every turn, in every moment. We often let the moment pass, we let the tick of time dull our passion to explore, but like stars in daylight, countless moments that inspire are just beyond our gaze. We could either be the person who waits for inspiration and the clear night to appear, or we could build ourselves a ship of the imagination now, that breaks free of the gravity that confines us. We define our world and destiny, we inspire, you inspire.


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Authors background
Mike de Sousa is the Director of AbleStable®. Mike has been commissioned as an artist, music composer, photographer, print and web site designer, and author. Mike is also a Director of 2BrightSparks, a software company producing award winning backup solutions.

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