Inspiration

I'm inspired by art of all types from around the world, but most of my studies have been in english, so you'll find that I'm most influenced by American, Australian, British, Canadian, and South African poetry, prose, and music.  To start things off I've included Frost's "The Road Not Taken," which I find particularly relevant in my life.
The following works drive my day to day life, influence works of my own, and in many cases, provide a solid foundation on which to ground my many thoughts.  I hope you'll find value in them all, as I have.
The Road Not Taken | Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;


Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,


And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.


I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Tearing Me Up | Bob Moses
I don't know what you want from me
So careless in my company
Oh if all that you say is true
there'll be no getting over you
Cloud Nine | HÆLOS
Hey there's a heaven, dissolving.
Some broken universe, unfolding.
Foreign futures by night, built by distant insight.
Great Expectations | Charles Dickens
They took up several obviously wrong people,
and they ran their heads very hard against wrong ideas,
and persisted in trying to fit the circumstances to the ideas,
instead of trying to extract ideas from the circumstances.
Adam Lindsay Gordon
Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone.
Kindness in another's trouble,
Courage in your own.
John Dickinson
Experience must be our only guide. Reason may mislead us.
C.S. Lewis
It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it.
Some Minds | Flume + Andrew Wyatt
I pray that it won't feel the same, and
Don't think that I can't see it in your eyes
Darling yeah, we both knew it from the start
Some minds are better kept apart
The Great Gatsby | F. Scott Fitzgerald
I was rather literary in college — one year I wrote a series of very solemn and obvious editorials for the 'Yale News.' — and now I was going to bring back all such things into my life and become again that most limited of all specialists, the 'well-rounded man.' This isn’t just an epigram — life is much more successfully looked at from a single window, after all.
The Power of One | Bryce Courtenay
The power of one is above all things the power to believe in yourself, ofen well beyond any latent ability you may have previously demonstrated. The mind is the athlete, the body is simply the means it uses to run faster or longer, jump higher, shoot straighter, kick better, swim harder, hit further, or box better.
Shock + Sunrise

In my relatively short life I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to travel to twenty different countries. I’ve got a long way to go until I hit my triple digit goal, but with all I’ve learned in my early travels I doubt that will pose much of a challenge.
When you first move to a new place the concept of culture-shock gets tossed around quite a bit. For any turn-of-the-century military brats out there, I’m sure you’ll remember the cheesy AFN commercials reminding soldiers to explore the foreign world around them, lest they miss out on one of the best opportunities for adventure that life presents. It’s scary, we’re all reminded, but learning the language and culture of another people is one of the most rewarding undertakings this world offers. Culture shock is just temporary, like the sting of a needle from that malaria shot you needed to travel to Kenya.
I’m still trying to figure out what culture shock even means.
It’s generally presented in a negative light, as if I’ll be sitting in my new bedroom dreaming of “home” and all of its comforts instead of marveling at the intricacies and curiosities of my new environment. I can certainly see how that’s possible — it’s easy enough to make any task miserable if approached with the wrong attitude — but thankfully that was never an issue I encountered.
My culture shock has always been one of amazement. Happiness and friendship radiate from Stuttgart’s Oktoberfest like nothing else I’ve experienced, the architecture of Seoul’s ancient temples is some of the most intricate ever conceived, and there really is nothing quite like the outline of a herd of elephants on a horizon painted orange and purple by the massive equatorial sun. It’s hyperbole, to a certain extent, but life really is more exciting when looked at in amazement instead of indifference.
Through my upbringing other cultures have been imprinted in mine, and I now draw inspiration from all that I have experienced. Creativity thrives in dynamic, unpredictable environments, something that a sedentary approach hinders and a mobile approach elevates.
It’s not that I’m never afraid to try new things — fear of the unknown is what makes us human — it’s that I force myself to give that fear a good look and throw up a high five as I cliff jump into the next pool of experience. Yea it’s cheesy, but you get the point, don’t you?
Z.B.
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