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We need to imagine the infinite.

The arts help us take a much needed vacation from the quotidian. We are starved at a deep level by the everyday world as it is presented to us. That world was created by a poverty of imagination and lack of connection to the source of life. As children we may wonder at the boring conversations of adults, those we rely on to understand life. It takes a while to realize they overestimate their wisdom.

They are focused on keeping the body alive while disregarding the thirst of the spirit. A few eccentric figures may appear to share our stage, and we may take decades to realize they were suffering the slings and arrows of being “sensitives.”

They were struggling to live in an inhospitable neighborhood of our beloved planet. They needed to be surrounded by beauty and a larger sense of meaning in order to live and they were doing the best they could given the circumstances.

I knew several people like this when I was young. I saw their battles but didn’t understand them. I couldn’t help but notice the disdain they were met with. That’s when I started to dream of places where you could be accepted as an artist, New York, Paris. But even there I discovered I had to resist the philistines. You have to find your tribe, and to do that you have to keep believing in your quest.

Being an artist of any stripe requires you to resist the common assumptions that run the world we live in. Talent is a small part of the equation. Your ability to fight to keep your dream alive by being clear about what you are and what you must have in order to be yourself is essential.

The world we live in is not organized to aid and abet the flowering of your soul. The world wants to use you for profit. The dream of giving your gift is something you’ll have to keep alive in the hard times. Helpers often show up out of nowhere.

Life wants you to succeed.

If you’re lucky, you’ll have the right hard times, as I did. You can’t do better.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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