I’ve been displaced this week. Voluntarily. I’ve been spending my days in the home of my daughter and her husband, taking care of their new baby and her older brother while my daughter returned to her 2nd grade classroom to complete the year with her students. As a result, I was in a “foreign” environment, without access to my own familiar resources. But what a benefit – I made some wonderful discoveries and came away with new sources of inspiration.
My first find was a book called Heroes for My Son by Brad Meltzer. It was a small book, lying on the coffee table, almost disguised among the assortment of children’s books. I picked it up and was immediately taken with the premise and content of the book. It is a collection of 52 individuals, hand selected by Meltzer for their virtues and talents, as life examples for his son. Its beauty is in its simplicity. Each entry is comprised of a single black and white photo, and a few concise sentences that capture the qualities that define the individual. And finally, a quote by or about the hero. Many, not all, are famous, and each is selected for a character trait not a specific accomplishment. It is a book to be savored, but I found myself wanting to read on to the next, and the next. The inspiration it contained was heart-warming and lasting, as the stories were so memorable.
Next was music. Thumbing through the iPod connected to the music system, I selected the album Just Relax: Mexico by Lifescapes. The music was calming yet with nice variety, unlike some of the other more boisterous selections on the device, and made for good listening. It turns out that Lifescapes is a series of music CDs developed for Target Corporation, which in all honesty was a bit of a turn-off for me. But reading more, I discovered that it started with a small group of musicians from the Twin Cities area, who “came together with one mission in mind… to create a fresh and authentic music collection tuned to everyday life.” Where the inspiration comes in is their message that followed: “Think of your life as a film where you’re the lead character in your movie. Every day you live your life in big and small ways, through seasons of change, through good times and hard times, through passing moments and memories that’ll last forever.” I scoured the website, trying to discern just who those original artists were, and which were the initial CDs, but they left no clues. Still, I’m interested enough to check out other titles and artists in the series.
Not bad for a week spent largely in the absence of other adults!