I woke up to the sound of rain whipping the windows. [Carlsbad]
The ancient Greeks solicited the Muses. Both religion and certain philosophers espouse the notion of divine or external revelation. Thomas Edison purportedly defined inspiration as the elusive 1%.
The expansive roots of the word are no surprise. Inspiration possesses you. Ideas flood forth from parting clouds. You feel as if you need do nothing but receive, receive, receive. Whether you call it divine, unconscious, or merely fortuitous, inspiration is powerful.
Embracing inspiration can be difficult. We often dismiss it as an interruption of stasis, not recognizing its rarity. Social dictates of conformity sometimes discourage overly enthusiastic, or obsessed, individuals. It's no surprise that both enthusiasm and inspiration connote possession or at least influence by an external force, leaving you a powerless vessel. Many of us are probably so concerned with control and predictability that we don't see opportunities to reach that higher step.
Do you seek inspiration? How do you recognize it?
Does it ever catch you off guard?