You may notice as you read or listen that I refer to people, places, ideas which I have been drawn to. I am so thankful for what their gifts have brought to the world, as gloriously varied as they are! Some of these influences are referenced in a blog post, others are just always there, like a backdrop to my life. Here is a menu to sample and explore more in depth as you seek your own inspiration. This menu is not exhaustive and no doubt will be added to!
Categories that celebrate the gifts of others are: Writers and Poets; Music, Art and Film; Consolation for the Spirit and Soul…
writers and poets
An author of many books for the soul, my favourite being ‘Stitches’ www.barclayagency.com/speakers/anne-lamott/
Mary Oliver If I could only read one poet for the rest of my life it would be her. A collection of her poems is in book entitled ‘Devotions’. www.maryoliver.beacon.org/
W. H. Auden
A poet of his time who also speaks to ours. I like ‘For the Time Being’.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
A poet whose poem ‘A Psalm for Life’ invites us to look to the footprints of those gone before for wisdom.
John O’ Donohue
A writer who spoke words straight to the heart bringing candidness and healing balm together. www.johnodonohue.com/about
A writer and poet. I revisit his Advent and Lent books often. www.belovedlife.org/about
The Quiet Book
A children’s book by author Deborah Underwood and illustrator Renata Liwska.
Author and social innovator www.srstan.ie/ I greatly value her book ‘Now is the Time’
Writer and poet whose books I have started to collect. www.davidwhyte.com
Writer and poet
Author. Oh to get lost in his stories of wild imagination, this always time well spent. www.roalddahl.com/home/grown-ups
Author, artist and poet www.janrichardson.com
The poet whose words uttered resound on and on…’To see a World in a Grain of Sand, And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand, And Eternity in an hour‘
The poet who wrote about paths and taking the one less travelled by… ‘The Road Not Taken’
A writer whose tenderly penned liturgies bring light in dark places. www.tessward.wordpress.com/ ‘Alternative Pastoral Prayers’ ‘The Celtic Wheel of the Year‘.
Author and illustrator of endearing, likeable, hilarious and meaningful Elephant and Piggie children’s book series. Never disappoints.
Journalist whose words are as alive as fire. www.caitlinmoran.co.uk
Childrens author and artist. His book and then short film ‘Lost and Found’ explains friendship beautifully. www.oliverjeffers.com
Comedic writer and performer and advocate of being yourself. She brings joy and acceptance. https://mirandahart.com
An artist who has made a book about ‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse’ whose friendship journey has spoken comfort to countless folk. www.charliemackesy.com/
Fun and profound performance poet. One for insight and joy. www.harrybaker.co
Rachel Held Evans
She was a writer, whose works and words outlive her and continue to bring life to others. https://rachelheldevans.com
Poet and writer www.wendellberrybooks.com/
Robert Louis Stevenson
Writer and poet. The first poetry book I read (from my grandparents collection)
Writer and creator of short films ‘Nooma’. I like ‘Drops Like Stars’ and ‘Everything is Spiritual’ www.robbell.com
Alexander McCall Smith
Author of almost countless novels of character, narrative, humour and insight. www.alexandermccallsmith.co.uk
Music, art, film…
Salt of the Sound
Unique ethereal voice and sounds. ‘This Little Light’ ‘Lighthouse’, ‘Bring the Rain’ https://saltofthesound.com
Disney Pixar film (2015) about inner emotions. Deeply funny and teaches what we cannot easily see.
Embrace the Shake
Phil Hansen TED talk about the gift of limitations. https://www.ted.com/talks/phil_hansen_embrace_the_shake?language=zh
Film released in 2001 of love and loss. A soundtrack to return to.
Mumford and Sons
Many an uplifting and thoughtful tune and lyric ‘Below My Feet’ – how to stay grounded.
The Greatest Showman
How the duo of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul came up with such an astounding collection of music is astonishing. For me it is all about the ensemble and speaking for those with no voice.
30 Seconds to Mars
Rock band creating many gritty songs including ‘Brave new world’
Artist and sculptor www.daisyboman.artists-oftheworld.com/
(2013) Funny, adorable film on how to cherish every moment of our ordinary, precious lives.
Italian composer and pianist www.ludovicoeinaudi.com
Film (2010) about dreams and ideas.
Disney movie remake (2019) ‘Speechless’ song gives me goosebumps every time.
Strong is the New Pretty
A book of photos of girls being wild, creative, brave by Kate. T. Parker.
I have been inspired by so many of Pink’s lyrics and music it’s not possible to list them!
Artist. ‘Several Circles’
Lyricist and performer, singing ‘Begin Again’.
Mary Poppins Returns
Some wonderful one-liners in this film (2018), there is something magical and joyous about the colour and imagination this stirs up.
Life is beautiful
The most powerful film about love I have ever seen (1997)
Composer and pianist www.yiruma.com
Sarah Ross-Thompson Artist. Her painting ‘As Yet Untrod’ moves me every day.www.rossthompsonprints.com
Planet Earth 1 and 2 and the Human Plant
BBC productions in 2006, 2011 and 2016 that show and tell of the wonders of the natural world and the creatures who live here.
2016 Disney movie of voyaging and discovery, song ‘How far I’ll go’
Renowned band. ‘This isn’t everything you are’ (2011) is a song I return to again and again when faced with adversity.
Artist and illustrator www.kristianaparn.com/
Fall on Me
Performed by Andrea and Matteo Bocelli. Like a prayer.
The Personal History of David Copperfield
This film captured me in early 2020 including the performance of lead actor Dev Patel. I was so curious about how the David Copperfield character was depicted being inspired by those around him, his experiences. He noticed and noted every small detail.
Sublime guitarist www.andymckee.com
Slow Moving Millie
consolation for the spirit and soul
Mount of Oaks
A place of retreat in Portugal committed to permaculture and following a spiritual path and community www.mountofoaks.org/our-path/
Deuteronomy 33 v 12, Isaiah 40 v 11, 2Corinthians 4 v 16,
Centre for Paediatric Spiritual Care
Training and innovation based in Birmingham, UK. www.bwc.nhs.uk/centre-for-paediatric-spiritual-care
The adjacent possible To explore this concept take a look at works by Stuart A. Kauffman and Steven Johnson.
For uplifting news from around the world https://www.positive.news/ or subscribe to their magazine
The Northumbria Community is a good place to start to explore ideas of ‘thin places’ and ‘Circle prayers/Caim’. Thier books Celtic Daily Prayer 1 and 2 are travelling companions. www.northumbriacommunity.org/article_types/celtic-spirituality/
To explore try: www.centeringprayer.com
As a follower of Ignatian Spirituality I find great solace in ‘The Spiritual Exercises’ especially the Examen. Find out more: www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-community/ or www.pathwaystogod.org/org/christian-life-community
Connection with the body, to be at home in yourself.
Yoga with Adriene www. yogawithadriene.com
Brett Larkin www.brettlarkin.com
Fellow pilgrim these wonders are shared with us all. May they inspire you too, to generously and courageously offer your gifts to the world.