Thursday, January 30, 2014

Enthusiasm to Express Discovery

Enthusiasm to Express Discovery

Some painters were engaged in a passionate
conversation about the value of art.

It was an interesting discussion that I listened to
almost an hour without speaking.

Then a young woman turned to me and said,
"Any comments, Hafiz?"
And these thoughts came to mind that I spoke:

"The greatest and most lasting art,
the impetus of it, I feel, always comes from a wanting to help.
A wanting to free, and an enthusiasm to express discovery.

Each soul at some point will begin to feel all is
within it and then attends, as it were, to its own
inner world. That attendance may not result in
anything considered tangible reaching the masses.

But the artist also becomes aware of inner spheres
and mingles with them, and then puts those
experiences into what they most care about for the
world to see and touch if the world wants." 

               I love the line about "each soul will begin to feel all is within...and then its own inner world". He even cautions us "that attendeance may not result in anything considered tangible reaching the masses". It did not stop Michelangelo from painting the Sistine Chapel, or Mozart from writing symphonies, or Whitman from penning poems. No, fame was something that evaded them. They did not work for something tangible or for the pleasures the world told them to go and chase. They worked because they had something inside of them they felt such conviction to share. They carved and composed and wrote to "set the angel in the marble free" (as Michelangelo said). They daringly pursued their road against criticism and even praise, because praise can hault a path as well. Ultimately, the path that becomes your legacy will what you care about most, what stirs your soul. "Whence and how these ideas come I know not nor can I force them" (Mozart), but "as to me, I know nothing else but miracles” (Whitman).

               Very fitting is Robert Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken.

The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both 
And be one traveler, long I stood 
And looked down one as far as I could 
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 

Then took the other, as just as fair, 
And having perhaps the better claim, 
Because it was grassy and wanted wear; 
Though as for that the passing there 
Had worn them really about the same, 

And both that morning equally lay 
In leaves no step had trodden black. 
Oh, I kept the first for another day! 
Yet knowing how way leads on to way, 
I doubted if I should ever come back. 

I shall be telling this with a sigh 
Somewhere ages and ages hence: 
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— 
I took the one less traveled by, 
And that has made all the difference.” 

Yellow Woods 

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