The Work of Art
Inspiration is like a drug; we can become addicted to it.
Under the influence of inspiration our aspirations are grand. Our vision expands and we can see ourselves achieving great and wonderful things. We build cathedrals and monuments and grand art that we hope will inspire or strike awe in others.
Awe is the most powerful form of inspiration you can breathe in. Awe is the aim of religious art and experience; it arrests you and imprints your psyche .
But what happens when the imprint of inspiration fades and you are stuck in your day-to-day where the actual work and the living happens?
Along with the tales of awe and wonder that fill religious stories are the stories of discipleship. Discipleship is about life in the middle; about living between the miracles.
Discipleship is the work that happens when the light is dim and the inspiration has faded. When all of the energy and excitement has left the room. The spark has flamed out and you are left with the task of bringing something new into the world.
It is in these moments that you have to grind. Keep doing the work of art.
The work of art has little to do with inspiration, more to do with discipline: the discipline to work out the problems that arise in inspiration's wake rather than sitting and waiting for the next dose of inspiration.
(Maybe you can get a tiny dose to hold you over through these sounds)
The next inspired idea may be for a phase of work you are not prepared for (because you have been bull shitting) or it may be for a totally new thing. Inspiration follows engagement. If you are not engaged and invested in your work you end up with a life littered with incompletes.
A life like mine; a series of beautiful beginnings, of best intentions, of works in limbo all tugging away at my conscious.
The work of art requires that you inhabit the present moment and attend to the task at hand; to stop pretending you don't know what must be done simply because you don't feel like doing it.
The work of art is more grit than glory and you have to fall in love with THAT part--the solitary part, when it's just you and your discipline. So that when inspiration returns it won't be wasted on yet another beautiful beginning.