We have all been inspired by someone, at some point in our lives. I have chosen to write about two great Americans whose creative accomplishments knew no bounds. Their life’s work inspired me to believe that I could do in my life all that I wanted to do to reach my goals -all I needed was strength and determination, and to work smarter. Success is really a state of mind. It is what you do with your success that truly makes you accomplished. It is a dream all Americans have shared and can Identify with to some extent, The American Dream. Forged and nurtured by our Grandparents and Parents.” Idealistic- yes, unrealistic -I don’t think so!” It still exists. I love to feel optimistic and have faith. “Inspiration flourishes, when the reluctant finally let go, and realize their thoughts into actions, the dream then becomes the reality.”
Robert Frost (1874-1963)
The Road Not Taken, one of the best loved verses by American poet Robert Frost depicts the perfect discovery and conflict in which the author himself seemingly wrestles with two equally difficult choices. He carefully examines where the road forks along the winding path, longingly contemplating his next move. I picture him whispering softly to himself, “Should I tread down this road which had been previously explored and familiar, or do I sink my feet deeply into the black leaf covered overgrowth committing myself to a trail of which I can see no end.”
I often replay that scene in my mind, arguing within whether to take the path of least resistance, or tread with wild abandon down that unexplored stretch. If I choose to manifest my own destiny, are the rewards going to be lesser or greater than expected? I could also entertain that the yellow wood can symbolize something lackluster, and regretful to the author, or- it could just be a worn pathway within the decomposing foliage. Robert Frost’s poetic inspiration reaches out and touches the hearts of countless people giving us pause to want to drink it all in.
At times it is difficult to try to analyze this style of poetry. It can leave me feeling a little lost and sad, while other times I have these great epiphanies. I have often thought of another ending to this poem. My thoughts drift, and towards the idea of exploration into the strange and unfamiliar; crossing over into boundaries, and stepping out of my comfort zone. It brings out my inner adventurer. Had Frost chosen the other road, might it have been the unexciting road, the one in which I assume had been previously explored. Would it be predictable, and known? Would we have this wonderful metaphor for debate, that might lead us to entertain the idea and this known might be notorious with one too many risks better left a mystery? Thankfully, for those concerned, he chose one, or else we wouldn’t have so much fun trying to figure it out.
I love American Artists. I believe they forged their own pathway through talent, grit and determination and along with that same spirit of their ancestors before them; they were capable of reaching out; fortunately for the world they gathered their thoughts, their imaginations, and their desires, and displayed them for all to behold. Their resolute has given each of us a genuine piece of our own history, which can never be erased. I consider myself privileged to live in this world at this very moment in time and in a country where I have been influenced by so many naturally gifted individuals. If only I could soak in the riches this vast archive has to offer, I think then I might be content. Until that moment, I will continue to explore and be amazed at all there is to discover.
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
20th Century American Artist and Illustrator Norman Rockwell had a passion for creating and documenting everyday life scenarios through painting and illustration. His rich and vivid imagery captivated life during events in American History, when people struggled to find inspiration do to war, famine, and a depressed economy. His artwork is a subtle loving statement of the life he lived, and his love of the American way of life. I think his inspiration to others knows no bounds. There is an entire museum dedicated to his artwork. His Americana is coveted, and has been the inspiration of many great actors, artists’ movie producers and directors such as Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.
Who could say they weren’t moved when they saw The Problem We All Live With the landmark cover of Look Magazine on November 14, 1960, depicting a tender aged Ruby Bridges on the first day of desegregated public school, and her first day of Kindergarted in New Orleans, Louisiana. Or the look on the man’s face in one of Rockwell’s 1943 The Four Freedoms series of paintings, Save Freedom of Speech which encouraged all Americans to buy war bonds to help support the American economy during WWll. His artwork had once had been called, “too sweet to be taken seriously. ” Today his paintings and illustrations are world re-known, and they tell an idealized view of how America was viewed through through the eyes of Norman Rockwell, securing a piece of American history for future generations .
Great inspirations are all around us. We have to open our hearts and minds to fully appreciate them. I chose to write about two Great Americans whose optimism and vision tells me that our world, our country, is still a great place filled with unbridled discovery. It is never too late to realize your dreams and be inspired by others. The more accomplished you become, the more realized your dreams. “Inspiration flourishes, when the reluctant finally let go, and channel their thoughts into actions, the vision then becomes their reality.”