Archive for May 29th, 2012


May 29, 2012

Inspiration and Aspiration

How Small a Trout “Every Day in May” Challenge.

Inspiration / Aspiration

in·spi·ra·tion n.

a. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.

b. The condition of being so stimulated.

2. An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention.

3. Something, such as a sudden creative act or idea, that is inspired.

4. The quality of inspiring or exalting: a painting full of inspiration.

5. Divine guidance or influence exerted directly on the mind and soul of humankind.

6. The act of drawing in, especially the inhalation of air into the lungs.

It interests me how it is so easy to neglect the obvious; when you get right down to it, in the list above , number six should really be number one. All very well feeling charged up and energised, ready to venture forth and conquer the world but without that essential little flex of the intercostal muscles and a dip of your diaphragm everything else is going to become pretty academic. Tricky to be effective whist in hypoxic coma no matter the level of motivation and I suppose that is where at least some of my personal inspiration comes from. The lexophilic idiosyncrasies of the English Language, to misquote someone past : “The English have a word for everything” and don’t they just, actually in general more than a few words for everything.

My personal current favourite and inspiration in respect of the written word is undoubtedly Bill Bryson, that man can make paint sound interesting and his erudite combination of prose and research serves as a beacon to me. Inspiration to try harder and aspiration to write more effectively plus the drive to perhaps do just a little more research before I put pen to paper or in this case fingers to keyboard. Although I should warn, if you, consume “Bill Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome words” you will instantly become so preoccupied and so terrified of dropping the proverbial grammarian clanger that you will find it hard to publish anything in public again.

But in writing this I equally have to state that nature inspires me, that automatic inhalation of life giving air isn’t an accident. It requires a dreadfully complicated web of cooperation between nerves and muscles not to mention some pretty nifty engineering in terms of your flexible rib cage. And even once you have filled your lungs there is still more. The delicately interwoven strands of your haemoglobin actually have to flex apart to take grasp of the oxygen ready for transport it and more amazingly still, be ready to give up the prize at a moment’s notice once it reaches your extremities. As an aside it is pretty critical that your heart keeps pumping the stuff around your body too, and that there are no holes from whence it leaks out , that a constant repair team of preprogramed elements work studiously to insure the integrity of the system. Every little fibre of our very being is complex and yet works furiously in the background keeping us alive, walking, talking, thinking and if we are lucky casting a fly rod on a gorgeous trout stream.

Consideration of what it takes to make us the way that we are, an engine of burning chemicals, impossibly convoluted networks of proteins, carbohydrates and sugars all there just so that you can be you. Not only are you the custodian of this amazing machine but it will run on virtually any fuel and has mastered the really rather impressive evolutionary trick of being able to make you a new piece of you out of anything from beer to bread and butter pudding.  Well that is inspiring, certainly inspiring enough to want to make the most of it. I don’t know that going fishing or writing a blog is necessarily the best use of such a wondrous machine as this, but I do like to think that it is better served with those aspirations than slumping in front of the box to watch yet another ever more inconsequential episode of World Wrestling Federation’s Smack Down.




1. strong desire, longing, or aim; ambition: intellectual aspirations.

2. a goal or objective desired: The presidency is the traditional aspiration of young American boys.

3. act of aspirating; breath.

So with the above in mind and recognising this astoundingly wondrous body with which we have all been endowed what of one’s goals and ambition? It brings to mind the old saw “ It is nice to be important but more important to be nice”. So sure I have some goals, but perhaps the most important is to achieve them without damage, to tread lightly on our planet and achieve whatever can be achieved without stepping on someone else or sullying a resource on which we all depend. It strikes me that all too often short term goals supersede longer term ones. Hurting people, damaging the environment, taking more than can be sustainably removed is seen by many as  “collateral damage”, an affirmative necessity to “getting ahead”, that is about as short term as deciding you are not going to take that next breath because it is interfering with your current goals.

I recently had the pleasure of reading an autobiographical manuscript, as yet not fully, from Pat Garratt, the CEO and custodian of our local, and I should mention dreadfully well organised, aquarium. Pat has lead what you might refer to as a charmed life, one of tremendous diversity, success, and passion. He himself will tell you that it has to date been simply incredible, although you will have to ask him, he is remarkably reserved for someone who has achieved so much. More to the point, I think that he has achieved all of that without hurting anything. That is inspirational.

So one aspiration amongst many is to provide other people with some inspiration. It greatly worries me that we are on a course of self-destruction, all short term goals without a thought for the future. People like Pat demonstrate that one can be inspired and have aspirations without destroying the very things we all depend upon for our sustenance. And anyway, I particularly like Pat because he looks after fish and I am rather besotted with fish.