The caterpillar does all the work
but the butterfly gets all the publicity.
Excerpt from Brenda Ueland’s “If You Want to Write”:
Who knows if you are great or talented? No one. We don’t even know what we are or what our lives are like.
Van Gogh wrote: “Who will be in figure painting what Claude Monet is in landscape? I would be heartily glad if a kind of Guy de Maupassant in painting came along to paint light heartedly the beautiful people and things here… But this painter who is to come–I can’t imagine him living in little cafes working away with false teeth as I do.”
Chekhov did not know that he was a great writer. Or to put it another way: van Gogh and Chekhov and all great people knew inwardly that they were something. They had a passionate conviction of their importance, of the life, the fire, the god in them. But they were never sure that others would necessarily see it in them, or that recognition would ever come.
This is the point: everybody in the world has the same conviction of inner importance, of fire, of the god within. The tragedy is that either they stifle their fire by not believing in it and using it, or they try to prove to the world and themselves that they have it, not inwardly and greatly, but externally and egotistically, by money or power or more publicity.
We should all feel as Blake did. He knew about his inner fire and had faith in it. He wrote and drew and painted with enthusiasm and joy what his vision and imagination showed him saying, “He knows himself greatly who never opposes his genius.” He never hindered or discouraged it or let anyone else do so. He cast out all prudence: “Prudence is a rich, ugly, old maid courted by incapacity.” As for moderation, caution, measuring, weighing, and comparing, he said, “I will not reason and compare. My business is to create!”
Work to hone your skills because it is impossible that you have no creative gift. In addition, the only way to make it live and increase it is to use it. Third, you cannot be sure that it is not a great gift.
This is what I urge all of you and myself to do: work and shine eternally.
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© Sharon Birke
Celebrate the butterfly that you are!
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Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother
Makeup by Kristen Pickrell