My son Luke has a house cleaner. That’s what my best friend told me the other day. He’s not wealthy, well Luke isn’t, maybe the cleaner is . But I think it would be true to say that Luke is domestically-challenged. When my friend used to go to her son’s place she would find empty cartons, apple cores or worst of all, dirty dishes left around. Don’t get me wrong, she told me, Luke‘s not a slob, he’s just a very busy, (need I add single), young man. And I could empathize with my friend as much as I could empathize with Luke.
But since the cleaner has worked the magic, my friend tells me there is a new feeling of homeliness present when she walks through Luke’s front door. The walls have no smudge marks, there are no cobwebs in the corner of the room, everything is tidy. . . even when it’s not the cleaner’s week to clean.
It seems that having the apartment clean one week inspires Luke to have it clean the alternate week, the week the cleaner isn’t employed. My friend tells me that she even thought she heard Luke say the other night that he had to tidy up because the cleaner was due the next day. I smiled to myself. How many times had I thought that that is exactly what I’d do if I had a cleaner . . . I’d clean.
It’s like when you’ve just found out that visitors are on their way over. Suddenly the corner that had been untidy with books since the last long weekend catches your eye. You find yourself dusting, straightening the book shelf, smoothing the curtains and if you’ve had a bad week, rushing around the room with a vacuum cleaner. You hear the knock on the front door and you swing it open with a proud smile across your face.
Inspiration, or being inspired, is a weird thing. Take writing as another example. You want to write a blog post, or maybe an email to someone, or even a novel. And when you need inspiration to get started, you find it has taken a holiday . . . to the Antarctic. The chill is on. Some call it writer’s block, I call it an ice-block.
It’s at those times that maybe we just need the cleaner to turn up, or a visitor to knock on the door . . . another human being to just be there so that the freeze begins to thaw and we feel the desire to get back on track. Often just when we don’t expect inspiration to ever come our way again, it can kind of sneak up on you through another and you find yourself tingling with renewed energy.
And we realize yet again, that it is inter-connectedness, human interaction, relating, that truly inspires us. We are what we give to each other and what we receive from each other. We are each others inspiration.
Christina Debi is the author of When Life Walks On Bare Soles