Whew.  That day is done.  All we put in, and what we take out.  Time for respite and evaluation.  Take a deep breath and let’s talk about inspiration and (e’en though the end was after all not nigh), expiration.

Inspiration and Expiration.  Check it out, quite a lot to know just in the simple acts of taking in air and letting it out.  I learned about these medical terms in the course of making some art long ago.  I had visited Cuba, Nicaragua was in the news, and I was thinking about the idea of “homeland” and what that implies: home is where the heart is, that sort of thing.  I needed the sound of a heartbeat for a piece I was working on, and since it was before the internets, I went to the medical library and somehow got a piece of audiotape used for teaching medical students the subtle audible difference between heartbeats during “inspiration” and “expiration.”  I hired someone to make a tape loop of it, and I have occasionally resurrected the inspire/expire theme ever since.

Among others, Little Momma and Southern Dragon breathed their last this year, and I attended my share of funerals and memorial services, a ritual that rarely fails to inspire some kind of life-affirming renewal for me, personally.  Not all funerals are “good” in that way, but I feel that death is actually a gift to the living.  If we did not experience it, we would take life for granted.  At any rate, that’s my takeaway from the final call.

So let’s hear it for inspiration and expiration.  Let’s all take a breather together.  I found a new mug for the Easy Over that says, “Life is not about how many breaths you take but how many moments take your breath away.”  Cheers to that!

Expiration:  I would like to catch myself in those (too often) frustrated and aggravating moments when I find myself becoming rude, and instead be less irritable and more patient.  I’d like to become less messy.

Inspiration:  alchemy, water and light.  I’d like to make more art and overall be a bit more organized and productive.

What has taken your breath away recently or ever?  What inspires you and what would you let go as we get ready to turn the page on 2012?