The thing

The sacrifice is that doing The Thing requires not doing everything else we might like to do, at least when we’re actually making The Thing. The risk is that The Thing just might not work – in Buber’s words, it will break, or it will break us.*
Austin Kleon

It is about waking up to a knowledge that is deep in the very fabric of our being, and it is about living in relation to this wisdom.**
Philip Newell

Austin Kleon contemplates the sacrifice and risk involved when Martin Buber’s “eternal origin of art” comes knocking.

This is not “art-art,” rather the art we all have the capacity of creativity for: the thing that, when we come upon it, we must do.

Kleon considers the sacrifice to be greater a demand than the risk

The risk, surprisingly, seems much easier to me. Something will break us, eventually, so why not The Thing? And if The Thing breaks, well, it didn’t even exist before we tried to bring it forth, now, did it?*

To sacrifice, though, is to give up all the other things we may have otherwise pondered or dwelt upon for the sake of pursuing the thing.

His words find me at a time when I have been wondering about what I haven’t done because of the thing I have decided to do.

There is a moment of anguish, then recovering, I find myself so full of gladness because of this thing I do.

The test of this is that it makes a difference for others. My forlornness would extend much further if this were not so.

That we may awaken,
To llive to the full
The dream of the earth
Who chose us to emerge
And incarnate its hidden night
In mind, spirit and light.^

*From Austin Kleon’s blog: A sacrifice and a risk;
**From Philip Newll’s Sacred Earth Sacred Soul
^From John O’Donohue’s Benedictus: In Praise of Earth.

2 thoughts on “The thing

  1. “To sacrifice, though, is to give up all the other things we may have otherwise pondered or dwelt upon for the sake of pursuing the thing.”

    There are many levels of creativity. When creativity arises from one’s ‘being’ the perception of sacrifice will not arise. In this state of awareness, we’ve surrendered to the urgings of the heart (energy beyond the thinking mind) to act. This action is most commonly thought of and spoken about by way of artistic endeavors, but any of our activities can be can be expressed in the context of ‘art’.

    Frederick Franc says this best, “”… I know artists whose medium is life itself, and who express the inexpressible without brush, pencil, chisel, or guitar. They neither paint nor dance. Their medium is being. Whatever their hand touches has increased life. They see and don’t have to draw. They are the artists of being alive.”

    It matters not what the eyes of the world see when we are not ‘acting’ to please the world. We simply play our role as directed by the heart.

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