Sunday, June 29, 2014

Looking for Inspiration? Got Some Right Here!

So Friday afternoons here, in our little community outside of Santa Fe, we have a local Farmer's Market. It's smaller and less mobbed than the big Saturday morning one in town. David gets a table there for his practice, The Eldorado Acupuncture Center, and I usually go with him. Sometimes I sell some books. Mostly we sit there and enjoy the sunshine and talking to our neighbors.

This week, the guy next to us had fresh pecans from his cousin's orchard down in Carlbad. Fresh off the trees, great big bags for $10. Very tempting, but what would we do with them? And I thought: pecan pie.

It sounded surprisingly good for something I typically associate with Thanksgiving and Christmas, with chilly weather and heavy, rich meals. In fact, I think I've very rarely ever had a slice of pecan pie without also having an accompanying piece of pumpkin pie and cherry pie, on the same plate.

Because, of course, I always want some of each.

So this was different. I made the pie yesterday afternoon, with the air conditioner running. Making that and only that. It goes surprisingly fast, when you're not also running batches of cookies and minding the simple syrup for fudge. We had a light supper of lean chicken and veggies, with the sumptuously sweet and delightfully nutty pie for dessert.

A fabulous treat. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a slice of pecan pie more.

This, my friends, is what inspiration is about. Which is our topic this week -The Creative Spark & Research: Where do you get your ideas and how do you research them. Inspiration can come from anything - the trick is to be open to it. To see the bags of pecans and think of making something you wouldn't usually make. Something as simple as pecan pie becomes special in a different season and context. When an idea hits, run with it and see what happens.

I suspect that when most people ask "where do you get your inspiration?" what they really want to know is "why didn't I have the idea for The Hunger Games?" Or like that. The thing is, you never know when you have the idea, which one will be the next breakthrough. Making a pecan pie at the end of June is hardly an extraordinary event. But it was fun for us. Added some extra sparkle and enjoyment to a summer weekend.

Follow the zing. You never know where it might lead.

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