In the course of my recent travels, I've found that it is very easy for me to draw inspiration from the world around me. I also find that when you set your mind toward learning about a specific topic (in my case, the civil rights and black power movements) the world continuously offers up tidbits of information in even the most unlikely places.
When I was in Dallas recently, I was delighted to encounter this statue of Rosa Parks, one of the celebrated figures of the civil rights movement. The little plaza where she sits (beside a bus station, appropriately!) is something of a monument to the cause she struggled for, with a quote from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King emblazoned on the fountain wall behind her.
It's a nice monument, of course, but what surprised me was finding it in Dallas, far from the Montgomery, Alabama, location of Ms. Parks's actual public bus sit-in in 1955. Certainly her story has ascended to a position of national prominence, and I'd be thrilled to find more statues of people like her scattered around the country, but in this case it still caught me off guard. In a good way.
I like being surprised and delighted by the world around me. When I am home, moving through my familiar circles, it is so easy to keep my head down and follow an expected path, rather than opening my eyes to what unexpected things might be lurking around any given corner. Like my new fondness for public art, the inspiration of random encounters is helping me think in new and creative ways, and I find it exciting.
Have you been surprised or inspired lately?