Guest Post by Dani at Orange Salad and Pecan Dressing.
Andrew and I aren’t really car talkers. On most of our trips, I have a book, a camera and a nap and Andrew has his talk radio. We’re pretty boring like that.
But this last road trip to Columbus was different. I didn’t have a book and he didn’t turn on talk radio. We were about 10 minutes outside of Champaign and Madonna comes on the radio. And inquiring minds want to know: who is the most influential music artist of our time? I said Michael. Andrew thinks U2, Madonna and Michael Jackson. And the conversation lives on through Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. I mean we can’t forget Stevie Wonder, Aerosmith, Whitney Houston and Barry Manilow.
What we did agree on is that every artist (visual, musical and literary) is influenced by someone before them. I really think that all artists have at least one person that inspires them. I don’t think Michael Jackson just listened to Michael Jackson music all the time. Maybe he did, I don’t know. But I’ll bet that he, especially as a young artist, had someone who made him see things in a different way than he had before. The way that our world has become in our time, it’s hard not to be influenced here and there. And I believe that the artists who have stood out are the ones who have taken those sparks of ideas in their heads and brought them to a new level. They are the ones that are not only talented, but take their art to another, unexpected level. They are fresh, new, insightful. They make us think and feel and want to grow. Artists like this stand out.
Now, you may be asking why I am writing about Michael Jackson on Lynn’s website. Well, when Lynn asked me to write a guest post on her blog about whatever I wanted, my first thought was how friendship from the time we were junior high kids to now. I believe that it is so important to work hard to bridge those gaps of distance and lifestyles and nurture those childhood friendships. Maybe that’s another post for another day.
This post isn’t really about Michael Jackson, but more about inspiring artists. When Andrew and I were talking about this subject, I was thinking about the impact Lynn has had on me over the last couple of years. Yes, I miss our days playing softball, mixing fingernail polish colors together and floating down the creek in between our houses. I miss having Lynn close to me.
Lynn has always been someone that is extraordinary to me. She sees the world so much differently than I do. She is a traveler, soaking up the world outside of hers. She stops to notice balloons in trees or the chilies in her recipe. She often goes off the beaten path in her music choices. She is an avid reader, a picture taker, a recipe trier, an explorer. Lynn is someone who knows how to relish a book, take joy in walking her dog in the park, sit on the couch on a rainy day and give up her time for a local cause. Sure. She has her idle days and heartaches, we all do. But Lynn chooses to live and to share.
Every morning Lynn’s site is the first that I check. She’s not an everyday blogger, but I know that when I check her site or her flickr pictures, I am going to see the world in a different way. A way that inspires me to think outside the box, to put another foot forward in my own artistic way. She has inspired me to savor this life in ways that I can’t put into words. Just by being herself, she brings out good things in me. Lynn and I aren’t Michael Jackson, but in some small way we are connected in this creative world.
And so, I can’t wait for this weekend. My yearly trip to Omaha to visit family. To walk around the Omaha farmer’s market for the first time with Lynn and to eat Sunday breakfast with her . To rehash our years together, to catch up on our lives apart…and for me to be inspired by the amazing soul I get to call my friend.
Who is it that inspires you creatively? And why?