At the core of the world and at the core of the soul is silence that ripples with the music of beauty and the whispering of the eternal.*
Story is a metaphor for life, and to be alive is to be in perpetual conflict.**
Ben Hardy tells the moving story of Rosalie, whom he met when she was in her eighties.
Rosalie had a traumatic experience more than fifty years earlier that had prevented her pursuing her dream to write and illustrate children’s books.
The traumatic experience?
During an art class, the teacher had corrected her drawing, but no-one else’s.
Rosalie presumed this meant she couldn’t draw, a thought she had whilst watching her teacher that developed into a story that was to shape the rest of her life.
When she told her story, she relived the moment.
It’s a tragic story, Hardy reflecting:
Trauma, in a variety of forms is part of each of our lives. It includes any negative experience or incident that shapes who you are and how you operate in the world.^
I could only hope that Rosalie will find a way to try to open her dream before she dies:
We are kept from our goals not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.^^
Trauma robs us of imagination, which is necessary for uncovering the future.
Without imagination, we are held by our past.
Or rather by one perspective of the past which is quite possibly inaccurate.
What if Rosalie had crossed paths with someone who would meet with her for regular story-writing and illustrating sessions, playfully exploring ideas and thoughts, learning to treat failure as a way of learning and growing, points of leverage towards greater possibility? What might her life have become?*^
Works of art are born from the conflict of life. […] Life is about the ultimate questions of finding love and self-worth, or bringing serenity to inner chaos, or the titanic social inequities everywhere around us, of time running out.**
From the encouragement of others, we find our own courage.
Confidence as full, intense trust instilled by others, environments and contexts is important, but at some point we must uncover the inner confidence we need for fuelling our imaginations, ignoring everybody – as we sometimes must, and producing our art.
You can do this. Now you must find out why.
Which is to say, failures and discouragements are simply the means by which we hone our art – whatever that art might be.
*From John O’Donohue’s Divine Beauty;
**From Robert McKee’s newsletter: The World According to Writers);
^From Benjamin Hardy’s Personality Isn’t Permanent;
^^Robert Bracht, quoted in Benjamin Hardy’s Personality Isn’t Permanent;
*^I’ve just read on a little more in Ben Hardy’s book and Rosalie dras her first picture in more than fifty years because of their encounter.