As my artist's statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance. -- Calvin and Hobbes

Monday, October 18, 2010

You gotta put in the miles..

"Becky's barefoot trek took her to the old broken bridge, her secret fishing hole. She sat on the edge, concentrating with her tongue sticking out of her pursed lips, and readied her pole. A hawk surveying the stream below, her solitary goal was finding her next fish. At last, she imagined she had found an undiscovered lair of trout, and confidently cast her line in the deep pocket. Her pendulum feet swung like the stale marshmallows on her hook, keeping lazy time and giving her the pleasure of feeling the wind blow through her toes as she settled in for a long session with a bag of sunflower seeds."

I would rather be Michelangelo than DaVinci.

It seems that with any good intention, in order to see it through, you have to put in the effort, and this could take some time. Some time where it seems like not much gets done, where you don't see every day rewards, where you 'put in' but don't see financial gain. Even some time where you wonder if you are fishing in the right spot at all and if you will ever get to fry your fish, or if you will just keep replacing one soggy marshmallow with the next, thinking that a different color might change the fish's taste for it.

Many things, like parking spaces, just appear for me. I have good parking karma. It's a gift. I was listening to the Secret a few years ago and heard another person talking about his parking karma and it made me laugh. The suggestion has been made time after time, that if it is meant to be, it will happen without conflict or stress or difficulty. It will just happen. ..Maybe. Sometimes. (Hey you can dream, right?)

But, if we all just gave up on every good idea because it was going to take some work or time or money or effort, we'd live in an empty world.

We don't live in an age of King Patrons who marvel at our mere intellectual and creative genius, and long to merely be in our presence, so we don't have the luxury of being a DaVinci; more committed to the idea of perfection than tangible results. Never getting anything out where it might risk an imperfect existence, never to be finished, only abandoned. Maybe you want to be reserved in your limitless potential and spend years on just one masterpiece, who am I to argue? It's DaVinci after all! (In fairness to DaVinci, I think he understood his gift of attraction well and he evidently enjoyed being a mentor, scientist and intellectual more than a painter.) However, we DaVincis rarely get our feet wet, and that is my point.

Let's try a new approach. Let's instead think of ourselves as Michelangelos... great productivity machines of magic awesomeness! You see the block of marble and know it's a David waiting to come out!

I think you ought to hope for the big one. I think you should always hold on to that feeling! It's important to believe that greatness is possible. Why would I tell you to torture yourself with dreams that may never happen? Because the alternative is having an idea that never left the paper, or worse, what becomes someone else's Mona Lisa.

Don't know what to do? Well, you know that quote from Something About Mary: "I like meat on a stick! There should be more meats on sticks." I totally agree. Find what is missing and do that!

I knew a man who stated, "I'll never have much in life or be a rich man." This is true.

I believe that I will succeed at anything I put my mind to. Two results are possible. I will succeed or I will find the journey takes me in a different direction than I was expecting. At least I will have tried.

If you don't take the first small step toward something, then you will only live out your years wondering what things might have looked like. Here's something I read in the Artist's Way that made me want to put in the time and earn some band aids:

Q. "Do you know how old I will be by the time I learn to play guitar well?"
A. Yes, the same you'll be if you don't.
So, let's start!1

Have the Grace to be a beginner, and take the first scary small step.2

Anything worth doing is worth doing badly! (except for sky diving, maybe.)

You have to start somewhere. Just begin and see where it takes you.

1,2 Quotes from The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron


  1. O so true, I totally believe that there are no mistakes, just missed opportunities.

  2. :) oh yes. many mistakes, er ahem, lessons.

  3. Many many mistakes.....but nothing I would do over because if you change one changes everything else in your life. We are the sum of our experiences.

  4. good thing, then making mistakes seems like a plausibly good idea. :)

  5. Love this post, Rebecca...I needed a pep talk! And I always love your fun artwork!

  6. Thanks Michelle, you talented lady! I am a big fan of yours and your one meelion blogs! LOL. Today's post is on homelessness. I hope you'll read it, too!


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Things to Ponder

Don't pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches. -Andy Warhol

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
-Walt Disney