Encouraged to Greatness

Today was a sick day, but it was also a lack of courage day. I sketched the details onto the antler for the wolves and ravens, but that was all. I couldn’t face doing any more.

I called Maureen Morris, another antler carver, to see how things were going with her and to seek encouragement. She mentioned that her practice is to carve in two shifts each day; mornings for the hard, heavy work and afternoons for the lighter stuff. When she’s working on a show, she said she works much longer hours. In between she takes a break of one or two hours and does something else, like gardening.

I watched Tin Cup again last night with Miranda. Another “the journey is more important than the end” movie, but it demonstrated clearly that to excel, even with a tremendous gift, requires practice, hard work and being pushed to the limits of endurance. I guess that’s why hard work can often compensate for talent, but never for talent and hard work combined. Difficulties are universal markers on the path to greatness, not obstacles meant to deter, only to deter those not willing to reach, to do all it takes to earn greatness.

To date I have often been one to turn aside at the difficult markers. Sometimes I have ridden on with abandon, but never to a goal, never with an end in mind. Now is the time to reach for a goal. Now is the time such a goal has become clear. Ne’er before in my life have I had opportunity even to glimpse a goal let alone reach and plan for it, and now, here it lies before me and I would faint and turn away to the half-life I once lived.

No, I must hold firm and pursue my destiny, art. Commissions, yes, but also a show of stunning works so beautiful they take your breath away, carved with grace and polish and depth of emotion. Works to cry, laugh and fall in love over. Works to set people free.