Of Sheep and Branches

I made this basket out of wool and twigs.

I finished crocheting the beautiful hand spun undyed merino into this scarf below:

At the park today Patty and I talked a lot about the difference between intuition and inspiration. Intuition, she believes, comes from within. Inspiration comes from something outside oneself. God. Or nature. Or whatever you want to call It.

The importance of knowing or even thinking about this is that intuition could be misleading, as in, leading you amiss, but inspiration is a gift not to be ignored. According to the dictionary, one of the definitions of inspiration is: a divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul. Intuition, on the other hand, is defined as: direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process; immediate apprehension.

Based on semantics alone, I can see why Patty feels hesitant to cultivate intuition in herself. Intuition, she reasons, can be clouded by the physical world. Intuition can be generated by memory, environment, temptation or other false revelations. Intuition can feel powerful and even fated, but if it is truth without reason, maybe it isn’t lasting truth. Maybe it’s only momentary. Maybe it’s dangerous or self-limiting. Intuition requires relying on one’s own instincts, and I can tell you from spending a lot of time around my very instinctual horse, instincts are not always the most desirable deciding factors. I swear she’d jump off a cliff in a butterfly scared her into unreasonable flight. You should see how she feels about puddles. Instinct tells her that she should not put her hoof in even the smallest glimmer upon the sand. You can’t imagine the shenanigans she will go through to get around it. It’s all in response to her intuitive fear. The inclusion of the words “immediate apprehension” in the definition of the term further threatens the value of intuition as an inner guide. Fear is a poor navigator.

Inspiration, on the other hand, is divine. It originates outside oneself and offers no promise of truth or fact. If intuition: apprehension then inspiration: affirmation.Inspiration has little to no connotation with fear or apprehension, instead it suggests positive endeavors, experiments, ideas and expressions.

So how does one recognize the difference? How do we know if we’re being inspired or intuitive? Do we really need to take intuitive out of the positive category and stick it over in negative? Or only for the big decisions? Or the ones with the heavy consequences? Or the ones with a lot of apprehension? Oh wait, I think that answers the question, apprehension: intuition, affirmation: inspiration.

I don’t think intuition is all bad. It can help thwart danger in our lives, keep us from being hornswoggled (my favorite new word of the day). But inspiration, inspiration is what fuels symphonies and explorers and the Beatles.

I’m collecting inspiration from the source. These extra twigs from the recent winds are too pretty to be mulched. I asked the girls to collect these for more basket making soon to come:

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This entry was posted in Art, Crochet, Felting, Nature, Philosophy, Weaving, Wool. Bookmark the permalink.

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