Monday, July 23, 2012

Here There Be Dragons

If you're familiar with this phrase, then you know who I'm talking about. Superman's alter ego--no not Clark Kent--James A. Owen. I don't jest when I say Superman's alter ego. You'd have to read his book,

Drawing Out the Dragons: A Meditation on Art, Destiny, and the Power of Choice

to know what I mean. And I recommend that you do just that. I read it regularly. That is all I'll say about Drawing Out the Dragons, for now.

The point of this post is something he mentioned on his Facebook page recently. I don't know anyone who embodies the idea of a purpose-driven life more than he does. He lives his life courageously. He is a constant inspiration.

Here is what he said on July 9th, 2012:

There's really not much more I can add to this. I was discussing some details of a publishing deal - the subject of a forthcoming press release - with a friend, and his response was, "You're crazy - they'll never go for that." I replied tha...t it was already a done deal, and that the contract was already in progress. He commented that I just got lucky and I shouldn't count on it happening again - so I told him that the second - and larger - deal was forthcoming, and his response was again that I was lucky, followed by a remark that I was also blessed, because other people had to work for a living. I smiled, walked him to the door, ushered him out, wished him good luck, and said he didn't need to come back. Ever. Then I went back upstairs and wrote seven thousand words of a novel and drank a Perrier. It was a good night.

Followed by this quote from Mark Twain:

[Note: the first two sentences are Twain's, the rest by Thea Westra -]

The culture in which I've grown up is admired for its devotion to work and industry. Yes, we strive to be industrious. As noble as that is, I wonder if it doesn't in some way squelch the creative spirit. Be busy, work hard, and everything will work out. I'm not saying that artistic endeavors like art and writing don't require hard work--quite the opposite--I just thing that the immediate results of a paycheck is often appreciated, at least initially (and perhaps realistically, by some) more so than the time, effort, and struggles that go into art, which often are not considered industrious and for which we often don't see the payoff until years later.

I wish I'd had a mind more towards art in my formative years than a "traditional" career.

My wife and I are about to change that about ourselves. We'll replace one F word with another, Faith instead of Fear. We will live deliberate lives.

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