Saturday, November 19, 2011

Inspiration at the Right Moment - Barry Lopez, Writer and Naturalist

A year and a half ago, I gave my first transformational retreat in the Berkshire Hills of Lenox, MA. Together with the participants who'd enrolled for the weekend, we'd explore the power of duet improvisation to awaken our creativity, to hear our unique "voices" as expressed through improvised music, and finally to leave--I hoped--with a new sense of life and its possibilities.

The night before the retreat began, I was nervous as I contemplated the schedule, the myriad practical details, our activities together, my aspiration for the weekend. At 11pm, something compelled me to turn on the TV, which is unusual. There on PBS was the final episode of Bill Moyers' "Journal," a show in which each week he would interview a person of note--an artist, public figure, spiritual leader. I had heard of his guest, author, Barry Lopez, and vaguely recalled that I'd been inspired years earlier by something he'd written. As Lopez began to speak, however, I realized that I had been blessed. Here was EXACTLY the right message, the right person to strengthen and affirm my vision just as the weekend was about to begin.

To give you a sense, this is an excerpt from the interview. He is speaking about writing; but, really he is encouraging us to CREATE. There are real and positive effects that our creative acts can have on another human being:

"And when you can open up (to your creativity) and come out of your own little small tiny place in the world try. And you get something on paper. And you give it to somebody. And you say, "Well, what do you think?" If it really works, they (will) read it and they will say, "I think I'm going to be okay."

Barry Lopez was expressing what compels me to do my work, my reasons for encouraging others to trust in themselves, in that which lies often untapped in each of us--one's own true voice!

It was no wonder that Bill Moyers chose Barry Lopez as the final guest. Moyers said in his introduction to the interview: "So many people have inspired my own work that I had a difficult time making that choice. But i finally decided to ask someone whose curiosity about the world, and pursuit of it, have set the gold standard for all of us whose work it is to explain those things we don't understand"

You can watch the interview in its entirety here on the PBS website:

No comments: