Thursday, December 26, 2019

Crafting a View Toward Art -- Part II

That's one of the interesting things about this. It's like my attempt at a very short story:

It was a quiet day around the universe. Gabriel was between major announcing gigs. As such, he was kicking around the firmament doing a whole lot of nothing.

He made his way over to a cloud bank on the far side of the horizon where his long-time friend, Michael, was supervising the launching of new souls to be born on earth.

“Hey, Gabe” Michael said as he watched his friend climb a small cirrus stile and make his way over to him and the soul launching pad.

“Mike. ‘Sup?” (When Gabriel isn’t making announcements he almost never speaks in King James English. And he never uses his Transatlantic accent. Even his diction isn’t much to write scripture about).

“Not much.” Replied Michael. “I’ve just been sending some of these new souls down to Earth.

They stood together in comfortable silence. Gabriel watched. Michael worked -- his hands on the lever of the soul-launcher.

After a while, Gabriel asked, “What’s with the *and* or *or* light?”

See, as Gabriel watched, he noticed that each soul launch involved Michael pulling a lever. As he did, a small lighted *and* would appear over the launching chute as the soul disappeared downward. However, with the next pull of the lever and the next soul starting its descent, the light would come on and read *or*. As Gabriel continued to watch, he noticed that there appeared to be no pattern to the *and* or the *or*. It’s just that sometimes it was one, and sometimes it was the other.

“The *and* or *or* light?" said Michael.

“Yeah, what’s up with the *and* or *or* light. What’s it mean?”

“Oh, that” Michael replied. “Well, that’s an indicator light. The souls that go down under the *and* light will be born with the physical and intellectual capacity to accomplish both *this* and *that* on Earth.”

“And the *or* light?”

“Yeah, well those souls will have to decide between *this* or *that* because they won’t be capable of both.”

Gabriel quietly watched a while longer as Michael launched a random few more *and*s and a few more *or*s. Finally he asked, “So, how will the souls know whether they are an *and* or an *or* once they’re living on the Earth?”

“They won’t.” answered Michael.

It's not symmetrical. Propose that there is such thing as "gifted" and you won't be wrong. But you will almost certainly put a damper on people's willingness to try. You'll almost certainly squelch the creative impulse. Why should they try? They're probably not gifted. They don't feel gifted. They've never yet shown signs of being gifted. Again, so why try?

But propose that there are approaches one can take to maximize the possibility being successfully creative and folks might be more encouraged to take it as far as we can. After all, the mystery of it all is that nobody knows how far they can take it until they try.

And evidence of "gifted" isn't equally present across all endeavors. It's pretty clear that if an endeavor requires height or speed or good looks -- Dudley Moore auditioning for the role of Tarzan notwithstanding -- most of us show the good sense not to even attempt. But most endeavors -- particularly in the creative arts -- aren't quite so evidently limiting. When pursuing the arts there are too many variables for the lack of giftedness to be evident.

So it's probably worthwhile to encourage people to pursue those endeavors with proven strategies that will likely be most fruitful. Sure, most of us will find our limitations. Some more quickly than others.

But better to be sent down the best path from the start rather than: 1) Start down the wrong path that just about guarantees failure or 2) Assume the concept of "gifted" is so black and white that if I show no evidence of it, I might as well not try. There isn't always evidence of giftedness. And there certainly won't be evidence of it if we never try.

Practice is the artist's act of faith.

But faith is not an epistemological strategy. Faith is the end result at the conclusion of our epistemological strategies.

We don't believe by faith. We believe what we are capable of believing and then by faith we pursue what that belief leads to.

Learning skills with which to be creative is probably a pretty good thing to put faith in.

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