INSPIRATION — move me brightly!
Light the song with sense and color — hold away despair.
        More than this I will not ask,
        Faced with mysteries dark and vast,
Statements just seem vain at last ...
— The Grateful Dead, 'Terrapin Station', 1977

Finding Inspiration

Walt Whitman - Frontispiece from Leaves of Grass

Between 1855 and 1892 Walt Whitman published nine expanded and updated editions of Leaves of Grass. I like the idea that Walt didn't try to publish many things, just one thing that was as good as he could make it. Even the title of this section of the site, 'A Leaf in the Vine' is a nod to Whitman's 'Leaves of Grass', (although a quote from Brian Eno's 'Backwater').

In the field of biographical writing I am taken with Carl Jung's approaching his life from multiple angles in his book Memories, Dreams, and Reflections. I liked it so much that three of the major divisions in my site are 'Journey, Memories, and Reflections'. I owe him for that.

At the top of many of the pages are quotes, mostly from song lyrics, but occasionally from books or other sources. There is a resonance between the thoughts and feelings of the artist and what I was thinking about or going through at a particular time. For many of the pages there were a half dozen quotes that felt appropriate, but in the end I went with what resonated most emotionally, rather than what made the most sense intellectually. Purists may feel the need to point out that I have attributed the words to the artist or group from whom I heard them presented, rather than from the actual authors. This was a conscious decision, as the quote refers to both the lyrics and the presentation.


Finally, there are the images. These are consciously chosen to augment and illuminate the content. Among the archival pictures, found images, and my own snapshots, are a selection of cards from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. These are not just colorful window dressing — the image on each card is a visual representation of an archetypal principle. Taken in series, they represent the archetypal evolution through which each of us progresses over the course of our lives. Taken in the context of this site, they represent a touch point between my personal experience and the archetypal energies that form the connective tissue of human experience.

All of us live our lives on multiple levels at the same time, and a simple action or experience can have multiple meanings, both in the moment, but especially over time as we become more complex with age.