Sunday, August 23, 2009

On Inspiration and the Giving Tree Garden

The best thing on holiday is to come across somewhere unexpected, somewhere that feels like a home. We did this in Cape Cod, when we stopped on the Route 6A at Giving Tree. We thought it was going to be just another jewelry gallery, but it turned out we had found somewhere even more special.

The owners, Rachel and Judith are a mother and daughter team, who have created a garden of sculptures leading out to a marsh. They call it their gift to anyone who wants to visit and it really was a magic place.

But it wasn't just the natural beauty around. I left The Giving Tree Gallery knowing that I wanted to have poetry round my garden at home too. And that I wanted to make things myself to decorate it, however simple.

I loved speaking with Rachel. She's funny and clever and generous and one of those people you feel you've known for ever. I left with a CD compilation that we listened to for the rest of our holiday, and her book - "My Theory on How to Avoid Being Sad (in 116 parts)" - both of which she gave me as an early birthday present. Part Number 5 in her funny and clever list seemed particularly relevant:

5. Talk to strangers who talk to you. It is the rare, special person who will begin a conversation with a strange because they find themselves together, in a line, on an elevator etc. These are usually not sad people. Especially because to talk to you means they are most likely NOT talking on a cell phone.

Oh, there's nothing I enjoy better than meeting people who inspire me. It's as if I can become a bit bigger myself somehow. I now have something new now that I didn't have before. I love the idea that my world keeps growing, and that I am seeing common themes as to what will make that elusive *click* ... passion, and commitment, and a desire to make something new rather than to take things away from others, but most of all a huge dollop of good humour and fun.

Impossible to choose any really, but here are three particular people who I've discovered online this year and who - personally or through their on-line presence - have inspired me in many different ways and so who continue to make my life a bit bigger...

* Susannah and the way she looks so closely to really see things 'with new eyes'
* Linda for her walking and joy in making maps
* The Sartorialist because looking good is part of loving life

I'd love to know whose website you go to for an injection of inspiration. All suggestions welcome (including yourselves!)

(And another joyful thing about the Giving Tree is that the jewelry is all available online. Here's one on my wishlist....)


Teresa Stenson said...

Hi Sarah - what a great post.

Nice to read how inspired you were by Giving Tree which looks really wonderful.

It's funny because just today I found the website for Miranda July's collection of short stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You:

And I loved it.

It's a one-trip website rather than a blog, but it's so simple and creative, and very much in her style.

So that's something that inspired me today.

Thanks, Teresa.

Sarah Salway said...

Thanks for that, Teresa - and great link!

Patry Francis said...

The Giving Tree is one of my favorite places. (How could it not be with that name?) I particularly love to go there in autumn. SO glad you discovered it.

jem said...

I love those hidden sculptures, there's something so much more special about finding something unexpected. I can't wait to hear how you get poetry into your own garden. Although I think those plant markers are ripe for writing more than just the plant name on. I've seen some lovely copper and aluminium ones that indent with your words.

Sarah said...

I too have been to the garden and know Rachel. Both are amazing. I find in Rachel a kindred soul who is inspired (partially)by poetry and words. I should have known that by the name of the gallery "The Giving Tree," her favorite childhood book and mine too.
I loved your blog, especially knowing the almost overwhelming feeling of --magic??--of Giving Tree and her people.
As far as your fav on your wishlist, i have it ;) It's beautiful. Don't wish for it, just get it for yourself!