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Inspiration


Guest ford hallam

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Guest ford hallam

Morning all, :blink:

 

It feels as though the forum is suffering from new year inertia so in an attempt to wake things up a little, and perhaps even inspire some real dedication to your creative efforts, here's an excerpt for an article on a site I drew attention to a few days ago.

 

The good work of the world is accomplished principally by people who dedicate themselves unstintingly to the big job at hand. Weeks, months, years pass, but the good workman knows that he is gambling on an ultimate achievement which cannot be measured in time spent.

 

If you're interested, or are a fan of James Michener here's a link to the whole article; click here to get there.

 

So come on folks, there are only 11 month left of 2008, what remarkable efforts are you willing to commit to this year?

 

as always, Namaste,

 

Ford :lol:

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Thank you Ford!

 

Upon reading this essay, I have written an email and sent it with the essay link to my 16 year old son who is away at an Arts High School, living in a dorm, facing the daunting future, and present need, of selecting a college. He is weighing the arts vs. liberal arts vs. the academic areas which he excels in. Such self examination has brought him to consider pursuing a liberal arts education rather than an arts conservatory. Though the essay was written 45 years ago, the wisdom is timeless.

 

This quote resonates with my experience, having "reeducated", adding to my skills over the decades: "Adults who are unwilling to reeducate themselves periodically are doomed to mediocrity." I am teetering on another threshold, with a strong desire to learn two more areas which will add to the work I do now, which has evolved through several stages and mediums. I have begun to network with people in the areas of my interest, which is a step forward. To make the time and to find the money to support the growth, much effort must follow, because the need and desire is becoming greater.

 

I could write more, but will do so at another time. So many thoughts at the moment, I must organize them.

 

Janel

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Doug,

 

personally I think that the sentiment expressed in the verse is dangerously misleading, not to mention, wishful thinking. It harks back to this antique idea that creativity is somehow a gift bestowed on us lowly mortals by the gods, muses or some other supreme being. Inherent in that suggestion is the acceptance that one's failure to produce anything of worth is not due to one's own shortcomings but rather due to the fickle whims of the relevant supernatural being.

 

Good work demands that we make a total commitment to excellence, however we choose to define it. But even with all the effort and passion we can muster we may yet fail. This is not due to any nebulous being withholding their blessings, or favours, just the simple possibility that we are not expressive or sensitive enough to actually deliver anything exceptional.

 

I'd suggest that going by the verse itself that the writer is in no way qualified to comment. In their own terms it would appear that they have yet to be so blessed or "smiled upon". They don't seem to have put much real thought ( perhaps not enough experience ) into the matter and are expressing an idea that is simply something they have chosen to believe without any empirical testing at all.

 

Ultimately it is an expression of failure, an acceptance of an inability to do anything without "someone" helping us. Personally, I find this sort of philosophy to be completely at odds with the human spirit and it's yearning to strive. It's defeatist and fatalistic.

 

The old gods have discredited themselves with their inconsistencies, their favouritisms and unreliableness. I choose to fashion my creations with my own hands and will trust my own spirit to give them life.

 

Whew! sorry to bang on so forcefully Doug :blink: , I'm probably just surrounded my too much of this sort of sentiment here in South Africa....and it doesn't appear to do much good at all. We have 40 odd million people ( and rising) here, all hoping that their desperate efforts simply to live will soon be rewarded and supported by the powers that be. For the most part they wait in vain......

 

As always, Namaste,

 

Ford

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All good stuff and all. I take a somewhat existential view. Excellence is its own reward. If I'm satisfied, the view of others is nice but not necessary. Selfish sounding? Maybe. But I think all artists (whatever the art) have to start there else it's all just ego on parade.

 

Ralph (before first cup of coffee in AM)

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Ralph,

 

I think I lean to a existentialist position myself. I think you are spot on too when you say we must do what we do firstly for ourselves. In fact I suspect that claims of doing this sort of work for anyone else are a fantasy.

 

I was watching the British version of Pop Idol the other evening, with my wife ( I had no choice, honest :lol: ) and to listening to the favourite to win, express her various sentimental mutterings. She told us that achieving something as a singer had been her lifelong dream ( all 18 years since birth apparently :blink: ) and that if she was to win she would be doing it for all the other people who had similar dreams.

 

I sat there wondering what the hell she meant ;) , how? actually, would her win be for anyone else really, other than to make them feel good for a brief moment. Perhaps make her parents proud, a little bit of vicarious ego gratification maybe. I think that she was sincere in her desire to be so generous but I don't know that such statements and claims are much more than the sort of pleasantries we parrot out when we are introduced to strangers. She was there because she had a very real desire to do well....everything else was window dressing.

 

She did win, and she's an amazing singer who will no doubt blossom into a real star.

 

Cheers, Ford

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hmmm. I guess I found the verse to have an element of humor in it. It's along the lines of success being 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. You don't deny luck plays a part in success sometimes? Being in the right place at the right time. Having a door open for you? Granted, I believe strongly that through effort, we set the conditions strongly in our favor for serendipitous moments. A bit like a ship positioning itself to receive the winds when they come. -To wax poetic-.

I'm not talking about any supernatural being pulling the strings and favoring us, but a positive attitude and effort sets us up for receiving good fortune.

 

-Doug

 

Ralph you're right - gratification ultimately must come from ourselves.

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Doug,

 

well we agree on one thing, we can laugh at it :D ,

I found the verse to have an element of humor in it

 

The issue of luck is a complex one, I think. I could respond with the old adage; "the harder I work, the luckier I get". To be honest, I'm not sure the whole idea of "luck" is really observable in our lives, at least not in any meaningful way. Stuff just happens....sometimes it is regarded as really good ( again a subjective view ) and other times it is judged not so helpful or pleasant. It seems to me that there are so many subjective criteria to be considered that the notion of luck as some sort of concrete external is ultimately an illusion we have created. Possibly as a result of our needing to comfort ourselves with the belief that there is some sort of grand accounting system running our lives.

 

I'm often told that I'm very fortunate to have the talents that I do and that I'm lucky to be doing what I do. Often with a well intended observation that this is due to "a higher power". I actually get irritated at the suggestion. My, so called, good fortune was not gift. I have made many, very real, sacrifices and paid a significant price to get to where I am. Many people have helped me on my journey but ultimately sincere and sustained effort is what delivered the goods. Similarly, no luck was required to end up doing what I do now. I made many very difficult choices that meant that life was pretty rough at times. Was this bad luck? no...just the consequences on my decisions. There have been ups and downs along the way, but I have kept my eye on my goal and constantly readjust my approach to deal with whatever life throws in my path.

 

With regard to my work and luck; I'd say that if something unexpected crops up, that I'd not planned or expected, I must first recognise that this was not my intention and that my original vision has been thwarted; this must be bad luck :blink: . If I then recognise something that is advantageous in the accidental result I must also recognise it's complete randomness, while accepting it's usefulness in terms of trying to keep making the piece work.

 

I will agree that we must be ready to use the opportunities that present themselves but I'm not hanging around "until the Goddess of Luck smiles down on me from the moon of good fortune" ;)

 

I can accommodate a concept of luck but I would want to be very specific as to how we define or describe it. The general, all encompassing, notion that is in common currency is, I feel, far too wooly. I think it has more to do with how we respond to events in life, how we learn to recognise opportunities and how we use situations to our advantage. This requires experience, tenacity, probably a fair bit of sensitivity and a clear vision of what it is you want to achieve.

 

 

as always, Namaste,

 

Ford :lol::)

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Guest ford hallam

Ha Clive, ;) love it

 

you may have seen this one, but it's hilarious in any case. If you feel laughing at beliefs ( all of them ) is not on then please don't follow the link as you may not appreciate the irreverence. :blink:

 

Namaste, (& bless your sh 1 T ) :lol:

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Hi Ford,

 

I loved the "shit happens" link - it's good to chuckle. In fact I like the saying "Life is too important to be taken seriously"

As to inspiration and creativity and Luck. It seems, from my experiance that it all comes down to awareness and intention. If you are not blown away by the incredible awesomeness of the universe and the state of "being alive" that one finds oneself in upon waking up in the morning, then you've missed the whole thing. I have made the choices in my life that helped to direct the course of my life. I like to live every moment of my life in the "state of art" from which "objects of art" result. I make bread, take walks, listen to music, play bamboo flutes, go to the city, make love to my wife, work as a bench jeweler, observe the passing of loved ones, buy groceries at the store, etc. and through all of this I am astounded by the one constant - This Moment - this moment is where it all happens and my "job" so to speak, is to pay gracious and meticulous attention. I create the works I do with my own enjoyment foremost in mind and ultimately don't worry if others think I'm trivial or profound, as long as I have put my all into it. I am at 55 years old, just starting into new directions of craft by building "skin on frame" kayaks and learning blacksmithing. I am enjoying the more colaborative process these crafts employ and feel the practical end uses for the created objects themselves to be even more exciting. If I live to be 100 years old, I hope and trust I will still be working in such an engaged fashion.

The Michener essay was spot on by the way, thanks for the post.

Namaste,

Magnus

P.S. Clive, I really like your 2 paths photo!

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