Inspiration Monday: Charlie, Francis, Frank and a powerful emotion.

Anomalisa: I love everything Charlie Kauffman touches. Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine, Dangerous Mind, and, most of all, Synecdoche, which I have watched over and over till my BluRay skips. His inventions are endlessly fresh, rule breaking, and, despite the inevitable twinge of melancholy about them, inspiring and life-affirming to me.

This week, he dropped the first trailer for his new film which is a stop animation feature. I can’t wait to see the whole thing.

Chef’s Table: Technically speaking, I didn’t discover this Netflix series this week. I rediscovered it, probably for the eight time. If you come to my house for any length of time, I am going to make you sit on my couch and watch at least east one episode of Chef’s Table. It is sumptuously shot and will make your mouth water. But it’s not really about food. It’s about art, personal expression and demons, breaking rules, discovery, and the non verbal. It’s about art. It will inspire you in the kitchen and in the studio.

Frank Stella at the WhitneyI didn’t love most of this show but parts of it were fantastic. His later sculptures in metal and some of the painted surfaces with wild electric colors that vibrate and hum with fluorescent zest.

IMG_4654The most inspiring part was just being in the Whitney. I have three different museum memberships but this is the one I use. The new Whitney is such a great space, manageably-sized and walking distance from my house. That means I have been here three times in the last month or so. I can revisit the works I like and reconsider the ones I passed over. And best of all, I get access on off-hours when the hordes are still penned outside the member’s entrance.

Museum membership does obvious good things like support the arts but, selfishly, it also means permission and encouragement to see art more often and more deeply.

MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO1S.H.A.M.E.: Apparently this is a common phrase in the recovery world but I encountered it for the first time this week. It stands for Should Have Already Mastered Everything. If you are any sort of perfectionist, you will recognize this cudgel the Monkey uses to flail us.

Shame at not always exceeding expectations. Fear at screwing up. Inability to realize that we aren’t meant to be perfect, but human.

S.H.A.M.E. may not qualify as inspiration, but, if I can affix this label to self-destructive demands and make me see them for what they really are, it will be a useful tool indeed.

What have you read, seen, experienced, or thought of recently that could inspire me and others? Please share your discoveries and help fill my well with inspiration.