Were I to proceed to tell you how much I enjoy...architecture, sculpture, painting, music I should want words.~Thomas Jefferson
Lately, I'm especially grateful for You Tube. I can find most anything I want there. I've been gravitating toward downloads of "best auditions" of people trying out for America's Got Talent or Britain's Got Talent or The Voice or X-Factor. What most fascinates me is the the look on peoples' faces when a little child begins belting out opera, or a disheveled man sits down at the piano and plays so beautifully you want to weep, or when a duo performs a magic act that leaves you gasping and asking, "How in the heck did they do that?" Or when dancers move with such grace and precision, you don't want the performance to end. The judges and audience just can't quite take it in, this drive of human beings to sing, to dance, to write songs and play instruments, to create...it's in our DNA, and I believe the great Creator placed it there in all of us, because he so loves to create and endowed us with the innate desire to make art. There's a slight catch, though. Creating takes patience. To create requires process.
When I scroll through the multitude of You Tube downloads and watch ten auditions in a row, thirsting for more, I forget something. I watched the two-minute audition. I got the finished product. I didn't see the hours and hours of that singer practicing in front of the mirror perfecting hand motions and body movement; I couldn't count the number of rejections the magicians received trying to get their act on the road. I probably have no earthly idea how long it to took the dancers to choreograph their piece--how many times they fell down and got back up. I can't measure the courage it took each person to try out. I probably can't fathom the number of times the artists must have felt like quitting.
But we don't quit. It's like walking along a solitary seahsore and finding a beach chair. There's no one around. We have the urge to sit down and look out over the horizon, take in the beauty and reflect on all that the geography entails--the silver waves, the thread of blue hugging the horizon, the feel of the wind in our hair. We keep looking for someone to join us, but we remain alone, just knowing somehow that we must record this moment, not let it get away. Remain patient. And a story emerges, or a song, or a dance, or a painting. Because we stopped. And then...
There's the process. Oh, the process of taking the inspiration to a finished product. Someitmes people ask me (and of course, I'm pleased when they do), "When is your next book coming out? Can't wait to see what you've got up your sleeve this time." But they are ready for the two-minute audition. A completed project, with all the editing completed, the grammar intact and a beautiful cover. "Well," I say, "The book's probably at least a year out." "That long, huh? Let me know when you publish." "Sure will. Thanks for asking." And I wonder to myself if I'll ever finish the rough draft. There are days and days and days and days in front of the computer. There are rounds of editing after the rough draft is finished. There's hiring out the cover art. There's a lot. Maybe I should just throw in the towel. I mean how many people are going to read the book anyway? Yet, I'm there at the beach. I can't let go of the story. Even though it's solitary at the seashore, there is something I must capture. I will let go of outcomes and engage with the beauty and repose of process. (Thought you might enjoy this download, a favorite audition of mine. Love this artist. My Funny Valentine is my favorite song.) Britain's Got Talent