Talent and Greatness

The caterpillar does all the work

but the butterfly gets all the publicity.

George Carlin

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.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share your talents that have been wanting expression.

© Sharon Birke

Celebrate the butterfly that you are!

201 697 1947


Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Makeup by Kristen Pickrell


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. endlesspleasure
    Jul 26, 2012 @ 15:17:48

    Beautiful post! I’ve been exploring my poetic side more. 🙂


  2. Mountain
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 12:35:35

    Sad really, how we sometimes discourage ourselves rather than encourage by thinking we cant (or don’t) do something that is inside us just waiting to burst out. For what reasons; time, money, laziness? All bad excuses that I have used. I sit in front of my piano feeling that I know I have the ability and the love of music to create the sound I enjoy so much. Well its time to move forward and take the next step…no excuses! Explore the inner talent, maybe not always for greatness, but for yourself!

    Thank you Sharky! As always you inspire by what you share and the talents from within that you have nurtured to be what they are today.

    The wispy flight of a butterfly beautifully draped and enhanced by a goddess!



    • Powerful Goddess Photography
      Jul 29, 2012 @ 16:51:39

      Yes, do play for your own pleasure and I’ll look forward to listening to your recording one day, Mountain!


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