Tag Archives: quote me

our art is patient

18 Oct

I am an artist, of sorts. Words are my paint, sentences are my brush strokes, and a story is the piece I offer up to the world. The thing is, I do it poorly a lot of the time. And when I do, I imagine that my story is frustrated with me. It threatens me, saying it will find another writer to write it out if I can’t get my act together soon.

I can’t help but feel sorry for it sometimes. I wish I could do it more justice. Then I get frustrated with myself.

My husband, Clayton, is an artist of another kind. Musical notes are his paint. In school, he played the clarinet, and he loves a good song the way I love a good story. A year ago we were at my parent’s house, and I was surprised to see him sit down at the piano and start to play. He’d never had a lesson, but he could read music from his school days and knew the keys. He said that was enough. He messed up a lot, but I saw his brilliant mind working and soon he was forming whole songs.

A year has passed, and we’ve finally bought a lonely piano that was dying to be heard. I’ve been watching Clayton as he works his way through songs. My job is to offer up two phrases: “That was beautiful” and “Don’t be too hard on yourself.” The two phrases we artists need to remind ourselves of the most.

But mostly I just watch.  And think. And enjoy the amazing sounds. Then he plays a wrong chord, his fingers fumble, and he gets thrown off. The funny thing is, the piano doesn’t mind. Clayton does. He gets frustrated and holds his breath until he finds the right keys. But the piano doesn’t. Maybe in its youth, it would have. Indignant about the jostling of sounds reverberating around inside of it’s body. But now, after years of neglect and quiet, it has found its patience.

Clayton’s eyes move from sheet music to keys back to sheet music again. He breathes. Out comes something wonderful followed by the cutting of gruesome keys. The piano eats it all, but feasts on the beautiful bits, content under such trying fingers, a player who comes back to its bench each night to help it sing. It is an enduring vessel, and it knows it can’t play itself.

And on Clayton goes, faltering, persisting, and eventually the most glorious sounds start to emerge. And I can almost see the piano shudder with joy. Clayton starts breathing more and more and the song grows into something that seems alive, like I could reach out and touch it. And it’s amazing.

I am happy for them both, the musician and his instrument, creating something that wasn’t there before – together.

And a thought catches in my mind:

Maybe –yes, I think so- my story is happy with me as well.

So be patient with yourselves, you artists. Because your art is patient with you.

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time in the day

2 Oct

I refuse to fall into the time-trap. That mindset that says I don’t have enough hours; I must rush, and fight, and claw, and fail.

I will believe, with all my heart, that there IS enough time in the day.

I will say ‘no’ to the things that aren’t fitting for me to do and give time to the things that are.

I will stay patient, persistent.

My hopes and dreams will not be pushed around or lost to busyness.

There is enough time in the day. There is.

Do not hurry; Do not rest. -Goethe

Failure is only postponed success as long as courage ‘coaches’ ambition. The habit of persistence is the habit of victory. -Herbert Kaufman

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on passion

24 Feb

Have you ever seen someone try to create art without passion? I have.

Dance, music, fine arts, story telling, just to name a few. I’ve seen all these things delivered completely void of ardor. It’s a strange thing for a person to witness. The whole process resembles… someone trying to jump without moving their legs; Or maybe a person trying to catch themselves in a fall without putting out their hands.

They’re trying, but something important is missing. And it shows.

Art requires a certain measure of passion. Without it, it looks awkward to it’s audience. Something stands out as being not quite right. The movements may all be there, but where is the heart and authenticity that makes the creation appealing?

Passion is the breath of our creations. It’s what gives them life.

I had an epiphany the other day as I thought through some of this: Everyday life is the greatest art form of all.

I hope you can see where I’m going with this…

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