Thanks are due to
my father, a retired Latin teacher, for his guidance in the creation
of our motto, Spira
To breathe, to
inhale, to take in. But spira
means 'live' as in, to live. The famous old phrase "Dum spira,
spera" means "While I breathe, I hope."
The noun (whose
primary meaning is "wind") from which we derive our word
"spirit" and its many meanings:
personality ("the spirit of the age")
significance ("the letter versus the spirit of the law")
apparition, or departed soul ("the spirits of the dead")
vivacity, or courage ("she showed a great deal of spirit")
("the Great Spirit," "the Holy Spirit") (see also Musings:
The possessive of
"night," i.e., "of the night."
Thus, in simplest
translation, the motto means:
in the spirit of the night.
worthwhile is ever simple...
has age-old associations with breathing,
with drawing in some magic essence from outside oneself, and
infusing the influence of that magic into tangible expressions of
beauty. Inspiration is a dazzling gift from a darksome and mysterious
Source, a Source whose fierce and capricious graciousness artists and
mystics seek to awaken.
times, that Source has been personified as Female: the Muse.
Her devotees court
her like a mistress, alternately pester and cherish her like
a mother, petition
her like a seeress, and revere her like a Goddess.
nature of creative inspiration is an enigma, a practical
near-impossibility, and a peculiar delight. "What is it
that drifts through the midnight air, giving me this sense of
astonishing possibility -- of something wonderful just about to
happen? What is
it about the night that strikes such unexpected sparks into the
tinder of my mind, and fires me to do that which I hardly knew I could?"
Spira spiritum noctis,
then, translated in letter and in spirit, means:
Drink the night
wind's essence, elixir of inspiration;
bring more beauty
into the beautiful world.
Be alive in the
night, savor its living spirit,
labyrinthine blessings, bright and dark.
Breathe, create, live.
Therese Avelland, all rights reserved.................