Updated: Apr 10, 2019
"Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish. "
"The creation of Sun, Moon, and Planets"
As noble as a quote that is, there are days where that's hard to keep that in mind. We all feel at some point we've fallen short of our life's expectations, weary and depressed by our positions in life. Where and who we've dreamed of in our youth, is no where to be found or is somewhat unrecognizable to us. We become blind to the continuous line of successes that have slowly lead us higher and higher through life's ever changing winds, gliding proudly for all to see like a kite. Instead we focus on the chains of past failures, excuses and doubt that hold us down or in place like an anchor in the deep blue depths.
"The Desperate Man"
Gustave Courbet 1845
Goals are not meant to be the end. They are mileposts that lead us to other goals, some quiet and personal goals, some grander in scale. They keep us moving down the road and hopefully in a positive direction. The complications start when we attach too much value on the outcomes of those goals. When we fall short then we find ourselves overwhelmingly defeated and crushed by the weight of our own expectations. Instead, we should be looking for the next milepost. Unfortunately, these posts aren't evenly spaced either. This is hard to do, and I'm not good at it, though I try. That fact within itself gives me solace that at least I'm on the right road. It really is the journey not the destination.
As tough a skill to master as any, trying to expand our ability to learn and set goals and grow intellectually and spiritually is somewhat like trying to lasso a unicorn. Particularly when you're paralyzed by doubt, cynicism and an overall feeling of worthlessness.
Edvard Munch 1893
So I paint. It's what makes me feel right. I have dozens of paintings in the recesses of my brain that'll never see the light of day and I'm ok with that. Out of all the psychological flotsam that swirls between my ears, I'll find a way to convey a little beauty and poetry with color and form. For a moment I'll take my eyes off of the milepost and daydream out over the long road ahead. Then I need to remember just where I was heading and just how far I've come.