Nothing is original.  Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination.  Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows.  Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul.  If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic.  Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent.  And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it.  In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.”

–Jim Jarmusch

I found that quote today, and I love it.  I think it ties in nicely with something my history professor said earlier this term: “Research is basically exploiting other people’s work and shamelessly plundering others’ footnotes.”  Perhaps I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m exploiting, but at the very least, I’m getting inspired by the paths other scholars have forged.  I suppose I view myself as a quilter of sorts.  I take bits and pieces from other articles and books, and stitch the relevant pieces together in a pattern I believe is best.

I think life works similarly, as well.  My life has been a series of events which have often included other people.  The way in which these events fit together has made my life mine and me me.  And I’m thankful for every stitch others have helped place in my life, even if it’s been messy or ragged.

In addition, I’m trying to compose this blog of things that inspire me.  Photos, books, artworks, songs, quotes, people, actions.  I hope that if I collect the things I love, even on the internet, that I can look back and see where my inspiration for that paper or that trip came from.  I’m not a wonderful artist like Hannah, a storyteller like Emili, or a teacher (yet!) like Shayla, so I want to share things I like with the hopes that someday I will make my mark on the world like they have.

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