The theme of using inspiration to overcome barriers is interwoven among Rudolfo Anaya’s short story “B. Traven is Alive and Well in Cuernavaca”, Phillis Levin’s poem “End of April”, and the article, “Serving up Hope”.
In Phillis Levin’s poem, the speaker shows how the discovery of a broken robin’s egg reminds them of a lost love. The egg is found under a tree, as the speaker resides among cherry blossoms. The speaker describes the egg as “a delicate toy, as light as confetti”. This comparison shows just how gentile and fragile the egg is. The egg “didn’t seem real”, but the speaker explains that nature tends to do this from time to time. The hollowed out robin's egg represents the love the man had for his lost companion. There was once something phyiscally inside the egg but now that object has vanished, just like the love between the has disappeared. The speaker is coming to terms with the loss emotionally. They realizes that although the love is gone between the two, it did once exist. Not having that love is tearing him up inside. Seeing the empty egg reminds him of his lonely and hollow heart in which he or she must live with forever. The egg serves as inspiration towards acceptance for the separation, even if the loss is difficult to overcome.
In the article, “Serving up Hope”, a man, Galen, and his wife Bridget teamed up to open a deli and give former drug addicts and convicts the opportunity to start over with a job. Even with a five-star culinary background, Galen’s “commitment to social justice” has become his main priority for his new restaurant and provides a sense of inspiration for those who want a second chance. Bridget believes that “their effort to reverse the fortunes of so many lives may appear unrealistic”, but the couple believes that their support will make a difference. Offering these jobs gives the recovering addicts a way to push forward and overcome the barriers that have held them down for so long. For example, Tyrone Lewis had a love for cooking all of his life but his addiction prevented him from fulfilling his dream. Galen and Bridget’s efforts had served as inspiration for Lewis to stay clean and take control of his life and future.
Rudolfo Anaya’s short story “B. Traven is Alive and Well in Cuernavaca” focuses on a writer’s journey to find inspiration and cure his writer’s block. The writer begins his travels expecting mystery and adventure, such as in past works by B. Traven. As he travels to Mexico, he meets a gardener named Justino who gives him the ultimate inspiration to create his story. His experience and interaction with the people of Cuernavaca help him to better understand and grasp the importance of culture in society today. The writer breaks the barrier between hearing stories and experiencing life. His talks with Justino will bring him farther to the true concept of culture than talked to a reporter or fellow writer about it. The direct experience with the gardener provided him with the inspiration he needed to write.