Monday, August 24, 2009

One of the blocks I had in turning towards art was my insecurity that I just wasn't a natural artist, that I wasn't talented enough. I was well aware of how challenging it is to make a living as an artist in our world, and the thought that I might not be talented enough scared me away from even trying. So, I searched for tasks or skills that I seemed to naturally excel in, and perceived these as my gifts to offer the world. I saw these things that I was good at as my natural source of what I should follow. What I found, sometimes, was that I enjoyed many things that I was good at, but I also noticed that there were things I wasn't so good at, but that I had a secret longing to try or do.

When I gave myself permission to pursue some of these things, my world opened up. And, I turned to art-making in earnest, and allowed myself to make art, good or bad, and to not necessarily make decisions based on what I was good at, but allow myself to follow what I liked or enjoyed. These kinds of discoveries in mid-life were humbling. I was rediscovering myself, and continue to all the time. As I get older, I realize more and more how little I really know. I was under the illusion that I'd know more as I got older, but this has not been true.

I've never really believed in talent. I believe more in desire and effort. And, as one of my favorite writers and mentors Natalie Goldberg says, "talent is like a water table under the earth that we tap with our effort." Sure, there is talent, but there is always someone better, someone younger, someone smarter, when we choose to see the world this way. As Natalie says, "effort will get you farther." I agree and I believe we are all talented and have a unique gift to offer the world. And it is through our desire and effort that these will be revealed to us.


SARA said...


kon said...