Sunday, December 5, 2010

one true gift

Outside it looks like it should be snowing. It feels like it should be snowing. So…what seems to be the problem here? They have over three feet of snow on the ground where I grew up along the shores of Lake Erie! I’m so jealous! I was hoping to extol the glories of winter this week, but I think I’ll wait until we get some of the fluffy white stuff ourselves before I take off on that tangent.

Until then, I thought I would touch on the gifts that artists, writers, poets, musicians and performers share with each of us every day. There are, of course, the creative fruits of the spirit that we hunger for—romance, mystery, fantasy beyond our wildest imaginings, thrills and chills, twisted plots and quirky characters, rhythm and melody, song and dance, comedy and tragedy. The finished product…what we see and hear…are the poems and stories we read, the songs we sing, the movies we watch, the performances we applaud. We may not, however, appreciate how they were conceived, perfected and presented to us.

When a work of art is conceived, it is a deeply personal discovery—a secret. It may come as a surprise even to the artist himself—the opening line of a story or poem, a newly imagined melody, a rough sketch. It’s like the first snowball of the season. You may choose to hold in your hand until it melts away…or you may decide to roll with it and watch it grow and take shape. You can mold it and perfect it and put it out for all to see (and judge)…or you can simply toss it away. If your dream is to reinvent “Frosty”, though, it’ll take some effort. Imagination. Strength. Patience. Perseverance. At the end of the day, you may find yourself all alone out in the cold. You may wonder why you ever started this in the first place. You may wonder if anyone cares about your little snowball. But just wait until they see it in the morning!

The true gift that writers, artists, composers, and performers give freely and anonymously is the gift of SELF. The passion with which they approach their work. The sacrifices they make to perfect their art. The long periods of solitude and silence they embrace when they are working or practicing. Frustration. Insecurity. Determination. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. All of it borne for us.

So…the next time you open a good book or gaze upon a fine painting or tap your foot to the music…remember all that went into it. Remember the artist. And if you are in the process of writing or painting or composing, remember that you are part of a courageous and devoted community of like-minded spirits. You should be proud of yourself! Keep up the good work!

What are you willing to endure to follow your artistic dream?

“Always wish that you may find patience enough in yourself to endure,
and simplicity enough to believe;
that you may acquire more and more confidence
in that which is difficult,
especially in your solitude among others.”
--Rainer Maria Rilke--
In my next post, if it snows, I’ll do the glories of winter thing or perhaps I’ll share another little piece of my manuscript with you.

No comments:

Post a Comment