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There’s an intimacy between words and images, between stories and memories. They depend upon each other – a process of translation, through which meaning is created.

I am a thief when it comes to memories. I steal the stories of others, weave them within my fiction, to inspire my present.

Somehow, within the threads and moments that I stitch into stories, I find myself hitting a wall – these unanswerable questions inspired by the messy, chaos that is life as art and art as life.

Studying waves and points of connection – the mystery of sound and touch with kinetic sculptor, Rueben Margolin

The writing itself is not an art. It is a science, a process by which the various pieces of a sentence come together, becoming more than itself. Finding meaning within the process, not of its creation, but of its reading – the process by which it is assembled within the mind of its reader, how its disparate parts intersect and twist within the frame of memories and visions, imagined possibilities, unknown presents and the questions that drive one into the other – this is art. The unknown. The inspired.

What inspires me, then? As I write, as I imagine and shift within the grammatical bodies and voices of my paragraphs, am I moved by the process of my own thought? Or am I inspired by the promise of the unknown, the yet unseen and chaotic, infinite futures of my words imagined and re-imagined over and over again? Is it the stark reality of my own memories translated into fiction that keeps me sitting at my desk, day after day, hour after hour? Or is it the belief that my fiction could inspire your reality, that my words could translate into your possibility, your present, regardless of mine?

The answers to these questions raise discussion. Empathy, compassion, the ability to extend our own stories and through our stories touch and then shape the life of another. This has been discussed on small scales – that of rain drops, ripples in small ponds and distant streams, in the gutters of my grandfather’s house on Spruce Street, in the muddy iron-rich gravel of the ford plant where he worked.

Then there are the large answers. Social science and the study of vulnerability. How are we connected? How does our reality, our perception, our memories and projected fairy tales transform the very fabric of another’s experience? What is our humanity if not the ability to connect, however abstractly, and realize our present within another’s past?

These thought patters inevitably lead to a desperate need to listen as opposed to speak, to be impacted, to be touched.

In a mountain community – in a mountain community and tourist town that is currently off-season, the chances to listen are limited. But then, of course, that is the power of the web. This tool that instantly enables us to realize the power and intimacy of our connections, how together we really are within the diversity of our shared experiences.

This is where TED happens, transfixes, and inspires three nights of non-writing and ceaseless listening, digesting voices, experiences, and stories, learning how to learn as I inspire the words within me.

For all you thinkers, writers, and eternal questioners, these talks are something to inspire and to challenge your language, your perspective, and your narrative.

Brene Brown – The Power of Vulnerability: “Maybe stories are just data with a soul.”

Reuben Margolin: Sculpting waves in wood and time: “What if every seemingly isolated object was actually just where the continuous wave of that object poked through into our world?”

Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of insight: An astonishing story of one brain surgeons first hand account of her own stroke. Beautiful, breathless, and inspiring – what happens when the walls that divide us, from our languages and beliefs, to the fiber of of cell walls, collapses into a seamless field of endless possibility?

Isabel Allende tells tales of passion: A beautiful talk on the way our stories intersect to create memory, passion, and promise.

Eve Ensler: happiness in body and soul: “When we give in the world what we want the most, we heal the broken part inside each of us.” (Eve Ensler)

What stories inspire you?