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Inspiration comes from everywhere. We go through our lives deluged by creative possibilities. When the stars align, or when we can get it together, a muse coalesces out of the ether. From that point on we create new things. Images, words, music, science, dreams, and any combination of all these things are birthed into existence. We realize that something has given us the mental fortitude to build a dream into some reality we can enjoy. We hope with conviction that others might enjoy our creation as well. I was blessed with the ability to imagine great things. I wholeheartedly owe my imagination and intellect to the greatest human being I ever knew, Mrs. Charlotte Dement. We called her “Den”. She not only raised me from diapers, but she was also my first kindergarten teacher at Palestine Baptist church in Victoria. From her I learned to read, write, and grasp math. At one point in grade school I was at a loss to comprehend multiplication. She stayed up all night with me until I memorized the equations and answers. Math was always my weakest subject. Without her I would have never learned it at all. Imaginations seed was planted deeply every Sunday. My Brothers and I would walk around the block from church to a small convenience store. I would buy a candy bar, soda, chips, and a comic book. Over the years I amassed a large collection. A few friends even helped out with issues from before I was born. My heroes were Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Ironman, and many more. I taught myself to draw by tracing out of an Ironman comic book. After doing it so many times I was able to reproduce the pose free-hand. From there I created many of my own new heroes with flamboyantly outrageous costumes. When anatomy became an issue I went to a staple resource that was never in short supply. Two sets of encyclopedias, the Book of Knowledge, and the Encyclopedia of Science were always available. I learned about bone structure, muscle layers, organ location, cells, senses, and more. To this day I have a few pieces of my artwork on the bedroom wall. There are a few pieces I’ve given away that I regret losing. I have a photograph of a twenty foot dragon I did as the backdrop for a prom at Bloomington High in the late 80s. The paint was too heavy and the day after the prom it fell to the floor torn. We threw it out behind the school in a burning area. A chemistry accident we had to move out of the lab self-combusted after we threw its contents in the same cage. At least I have pictures of it as well. When I look back on my life it is a simple leap to make. My minds eye fills with the sounds and scenery of then. My carefree innocence smoothed out the rough edges of the cruelties of life. Den sheltered my brothers and I from the worst of the world and raised us as if we were her own. She left us with a priceless legacy. We learned to keep our minds hungry for knowledge. We learned to keep our dreams vibrant and powerful. We learned that anything is possible if you simply put your mind to it. I appreciate the smell of a fresh baked lemon meringue pie, or the epiphany of new scars from impacts on Jupiter. The simple and the complex share an equal footing in my thoughts. There once was a piano in the house. It’s gone now but I played it a wee bit as a child. Den played piano and organ in church. I was never allowed to touch the instruments at Palestine, but that only fueled my curiosity for music. I still vividly remember the first melody I played to this day, just some chromatic arpeggios. It’s translated well to synthesizer these days. At 13 I discovered guitar. Now at 44 I still play keyboards as well. I soak up everything I can about anything, every day of my life. I leave nothing behind as all things under the sun are not new except for that which we create.
Dream big or small dreams, to see people discover your dreams is rewarding. Inspiration comes from, everywhere! Knowledge is freedom. Respect your muses and they will always return to you. I know mine always do.