“Don’t know if I could write like that!” I said to myself---finishing a chapter by Anne Lamott. Every artist feels this way at times. Pressfield says, “If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), "Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?" chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.” In every endeavor the temptation is to look at the great (famous) artists and say, “I’m no Ansel Adams or Annie Dillard so I best find something else to occupy my time. Perhaps I should do something more akin to who I am. I can finally accomplish that goal I have of watching every Hitchcock movie!” The comparison is a false comparison.
I’m acquainted with a bunch of artists. I know thespians and photographers, painters and roasters (I consider coffee roasting a fine art). Each of them captures the beauty of this world and projects it. Each has a small audience that appreciates their work. Here in the high desert there is a local theatre which puts on plays. Many of the actors are astoundingly good, some uproariously funny. They are delighting others with their craft.
The gift that each of us has is uniquely personal. It’s like the story of the talents. In the biblical story a master goes on a journey and gives each of his slaves talents “each according to his ability.” To one he gave five, one he gave two, and to one he gave one.” So too I have a gift unique to me. The challenge is twofold; to act on investing it and to be wise in the investing.
My life is made rich by the artistry around me. It is in these that I am reminded of beauty---and reminded that there is an Artist as well. We encourage and fuel one another’s passion when we use our gifts. The world would be a much more horrid place without them.