Impulse, Intuition and Inquiry

I is for ImpactI is for informal Roman

I=IMPACT, designed by Geoffrey Lee in 1965

I=Informal Roman Designer is Marti Wait in 1989

Impulse, Intuition and Inquiry are forces that drive my life. These three words are near and dear to my heart and my actions.

It often starts with impulse (a sudden desire, whim, inclination, or psychic drive) that takes me down an unexpected road to an unexpected place. Impulse makes me buy inspiration – just because – and impulse sometimes creates illogical actions that feed the imagination.

Impulse takes me to: Hmmm – today I really need to re-arrange the furniture, which involves taking all the books off the shelves, which involves rediscovering the books, which involves re-reading a book which sparks the idea for yet another story. Ladder

Hand in hand with impulse is intuition. Intuition is knowing something without any proof or evidence. It guides people into acting a certain way without fully understanding why. It is the gut feeling that makes you understand something without proof or evidence of any kind.

The next step is inquiry. I impulsively turned down this path, I intuitively pulled up to the old barn and then suddenly being in an unknown, unexpected place I start an inquiry. Inquiry is often described as being open to wonder and then engaging in the practice of puzzling out and trying to understand in concrete terms.

For me these three words walk hand-in-hand. I trust my intuition which trusts my impulses. Impulse and intuition compel me to act, to explore, even to acquire an occasional oddity now and then. I’m heavily reliant on impulse and intuition to move my life forward and keep my imagination sparked and fired.

But I am not content with unexpected discovery and action. Next is inquiry. I inquire as to why, how, history, when, what for, etc. This is where the research comes in. The research, in turn, sparks more ideas. Inquiry allows me to explain, in hindsight, why I went with that impulse, why I trusted my gut instinct, and where those delights took me.


On a side note: Inquiry vs. Enquiry. Today most Americans simply use inquiry. For the pundits out there enquiry is a request for truth, knowledge or information, whereas an inquiry is an investigation into something. Being a modern day American, I use inquiry for both. I realize there was once a clear distinction between the two words and there still is more of a distinction in British English, but on these words, I’m siding on semantic drift.

For some people the process is reverse. They start an inquiry, then they have a flash of intuition, the ability to sense or know immediately without reasoning.  That original inquiry may then lead to an impulse that takes them to a completely different place. It is all unbounded exploration.

What impulsive things have you done?

Where has your intuition taken you?

What inspires you?

What sparks your imagination?

What opens your doors? Another Door at Griffith Observatory

Share with me. For a tiny spark on any of those questions might set off a blaze of inspiration for everyone else in the world.





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