Dig For Gold

David Price
4 min readSep 9, 2023
“Portrait of Maria with Her White Cat,” By Jeff Stanford, 2023

My first book, with a soaring title — On the Peaks of Despair — I wrote in Romanian at the age of twenty, promising not to write anything again. Then I wrote another one, and made the same promise to myself after finishing it. This comedy has been repeating for more than forty years. Why? Because writing, little by little, has helped me get through year to year, as expressed obsessions weaken and are halved.

— Emile Cioran


In some ways the hardest thing to attain as an artist in one’s work is honesty. Like Auden said “you never know how good a poem is, you only know how much you meant it.”

It’s funny that children have it when they pick up a crayon and make marks, but we lose it. LIke Picasso insighted: “it took me a lifetime to paint like a child,.” or 80 years to draw like I was 3.

To even know what honesty is is incredibly rare. It takes a lifetime of lying, and even then there are no guarantees. Once an artist discovers how to be honest, there’s already something great in the work. It doesn’t mean the work will be popular, understood or even seen. But the artist has found the place to start digging, to dig for gold. And they may never find it. But aside from actually finding it the next best thing is to die trying. Maybe it’s even better.



David Price

I write about creativity, loving, language learning and psycho/spirituality. I’m a longtime painter and reader.