As I see a flock of birds fly across the cloud-knit sky, my thoughts follow them. Once they disappear from sight, one lone bird flies in the opposite direction awakening a story I tell myself and now share with you.
There must be pleasure in following, not having to forge your own way, deciding what you should do or even where to go next, for someone is always in the lead and many others have trusted enough to follow. It appears to be a safe route. Hasn’t it been said. “there is safety in numbers.”?
So why does the solitary bird attract my attention? Perhaps it seeks a unique path. And, as in the similarity of my venture, I sit at my desk alone exacting words as I venture forth, trying to connect through individuation.
Individuation, a call for awareness of our unique nature and an intimate connection with all life.
Hope secures the quest. I am looking to discover the idea that appears after the first five obvious ones. The wind of change moves me in unusual directions and variables often upset the consistencies of my work. Inspiration exists everywhere I turn, sending me to travel indirect routes.
All the while, my shadow seeks me out with the fear of commercialism.
The message glares at me, “It can’t be necessary to follow the masses to find success. My work is art. And my art, a calling.”
At this moment, contentment resembles only a meditation. Artistic creation, ongoing pursuit of perfection. As every artist or writer knows, the search for a perfect element, color, or word is a quest into another dimension. And some days you must keep seeking.
Suddenly the moment arrives when you bring your creation to life. Yet, you hesitate unready to share.
So many of us struggle with diametrically opposed feelings. Do we covet the peace as we set our work on a shelf never to be discovered, or do we risk the comfort of obscurity to become known to others?
Our fear is well-founded. In a world of mass-production, artistry can be devoured by hungry giants. What once was birthed as an original work of art, intricately crafted as the first of its kind, can be copied or modified in a fury with only a blurry likeness.
At this point as I encourage myself, I implore you, believe you are an inspiration. Your solo flight has attracted a following. Find others that choose to fly alone. Share your gifts with them.
Most importantly, never give up. Hope can always be discovered within you. You cannot be mass-produced and your originals always live in you.
-Erika K Rothwell