On Friday mornings I do my morning walk with my friend Christy. It rained this morning, so we decided to stay on the sidewalk rather than along the Harbourfront, and walk farther west on Toronto’s Queen’s Quay than we normally do.
And that’s when we came across a little park on the waterfront called Ireland Park.
It was a cloudy, wet morning, and these statues in the park came as something of a surprise to both of us.
Quite the eerie sight! I’m glad I was there with Christy; there was no-one else around, and the air had that thickness to it you often get when it rains. Queue some scary music and a bit of fog, and I would have been out of there like a shot. But since Christy is one of those comforting, practical people you’d want to have with you in a haunted house, I stayed and even took pictures.
So of course I had to look up “Ireland Park” when I got home. It turns out Ireland Park is a memorial to the 38,000 Irish immigrants who came to Canada in 1847 to escape famine; more than 1,000 of them died that summer.
The statues are by artist Rowan Gillespie, and there are similar statues on Dublin’s quay side.
There is also a large limestone wall, which was shipped from Ireland. The names of those who died are engraved on it. According to Robert Kearns, the chair of the Ireland Park Foundation, “It represents the Cliffs of Moher on the west coast of Ireland, the last sight seen by emigrants leaving home. The names of the dead are engraved on the gaps in the wall. The park is really a cemetery without bodies, for the people who didn’t make it.”
Yes, it was definitely a very interesting walk today!
I’ve been thinking a lot about inspiration lately. And since this is January, the month of fresh starts, I’m coming up with a lot of new intentions. One of these intentions is living an inspired life.
I love feeling inspired; too often inspiration tends to come when I’m deep in deadlines (like I am this month). But I’d love for inspiration to come no matter what I’m doing. So I’m setting a soft, gentle intention to be inspired every day.
Not that I’m committing to anything, but it occurred to me that a regular weekly post about inspiration might help me with this new intention. And what better day to write about inspiration than Mondays!
The Love Project
One of my favorite bloggers, Judy Clement Wall, has embarked on The Love Project, and she invites all of us to participate along with her.
“I want to spend one whole year consciously, unabashedly, fearlessly spreading the love. It sounds easy and, of course, it should be. What’s easier than love, right? But I know better. I know how life, and bad guys, and deadlines, and sleep deprivation can get in the way of good intentions, so I sat down and mapped it all out – a new way of spreading the love for every month in 2011.
January is the month of “spontaneous connection.” My goal is to spontaneously connect with someone new every day.”
This sounds like such a delicious idea to me! In her first follow-up post about The Love Project, Judy’s shared what the first ten days of The Love Project has felt like (in a nutshell – magic!); she’s also posted the calendar she’s mapped out for her year of love.
Writing Improvement Tools
I posted last week about Janel’s fabulous Bowl of Inspiration – it’s a special bowl she made that’s filled with writing prompts. Last week, Janel wrote another fabulous post that gave me such inspiration: Writing Improvement Tools 2011.
I’ll be making my own Inspiration Bowl (it will be more of a Writing Inspiration Box, because I have this soft spot in my heart for beautiful boxes). I love Janel’s Idea a Day concept, and plan on doing it with my Writing Inspiration Box beside me.
(Did you notice the future tense of the previous paragraph? Unfortunately, I have so many work deadlines lined up for January, I’m not sure when I can put all of these wonderful inspirational ideas of mine into being.)
I wrote previously about my intention that 2011 be my year of creativity. It’s been a long time since I last dived into art making; my paints and papers have been calling to me for a while, and up until recently, I’ve been ignoring them.
But I’m ready now to get back into art making. This past weekend we took down all the holiday decorations, and while we were putting them all away in our storage room, I decided it was high time I pulled all my art supplies out of storage. So we did – four big Rubbermaid bins filled to the brim with paper, paints and pastels, embellishments, glues. I’m going to have so much fun going through them!
And to top things off, I came across this post about Art Prompts at Cloth Paper Scissors (one of my favorite art making magazines).
Writing prompts, art prompts – I’m all set for a creative 2011!
Blogging can be so inspiring too, and it’s so much fun finding new blogs and making comments on posts that call to you. So last week, I decided to sign up for the Comment Challenge 2011. Yes, it started last week, but I don’t think it’s too late to start. I signed up but then a deadline stepped in, so I haven’t done as much commenting as I’d planned – but there’s always today, right?
A few months ago, when I was at the start of my really busy work season (aka deadlines upon deadlines upon deadlines), I realized I needed to make sure I had some time just for me every day. Even if it was only a few minutes.
I came up with this solution: I created a Tumblr blog. It’s filled with beautiful pictures I reblog from other Tumblr users, plus I post the occasional quote that I come across and love.
So here it is: BelleEnchanted Inspirations.
And Tumblr-ing is so easy! Once I got the blog set up, it really only takes me a few minutes a day, and I come across so much beauty, it helps set the tone for my entire day.
As a bonus, I only ever do my Tumblr-ing from my iPhone! So I’m not even stuck at the computer while I’m doing this.
(Photo Credit: artwork is mine)
I was in a bit of a funk yesterday, so last night, my husband and I decided to get all bundled up and go for a walk around the block. It’s been quite cold here in Toronto, but we’ve also had beautiful sunny days, and last night was a gorgeous wind-free night.
We had such a good time, we’ve decided to try and get out for a walk together on a more regular basis. It was good to see the stars and the lights inside and outside our neighbors’ houses and watch our breath puff into the night air.
So these are the inspirational links, thoughts and ideas that filled my life this past week. What about you? What inspirational things have you come across?