Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Grace to Keep Going

I was watching a documentary recently which contained some pearls of wisdom. The documentary, about an athlete, showed the competitor in training. The athlete had been pushed to the limit and was trying to find the strength for once last push round the track. In an effort to rally him, the coach said (this is not an exact quote), "When you feel as if you can't go on, when all your strength is has left you, that's when you must dig deep and push. It's the pushing that makes you strong."

It's true; you'll never gain ground if you're not tested. I think this is an issue in the creative life as well. Writers and artists grow weary, distracted, dissatisfied, so close to the end, and the mind grows weary. You don't want to step onto the track and do one more lap, or pick up that paintbrush and mix any more paint. It's easier to admire the masters than to paint your own portrait. But somewhere out there is someone who will connect to that painting, that piece of music, that little story. Someone will hear an echo of their own life in whatever you're making, or doing, or trying. And it's the trying that matters.

So keep going. Get on the track, break out your pencil, go pick up your paint brush, and paint.

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