Pearls from artists* # 509June 1, 2022
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Which left me with nothing but a dazzled heart and the sense that I live in a most remarkable world, thick with mysteries. It all called to mind the British physicist Sir Arthur Eddington’s memorable explanation of how the universe works: “Something unknown is doing we don’t know what.“
But the best part is: I don’t need to know what.
I don’t demand a translation of the unknown. I don’t need to understand what it all means, or where ideas are originally conceived, or why creativity plays out as unpredictably as it does. I don’t need to know why we are sometimes able to converse freely with inspiration, when at other times we labor hard in solitude and come up with nothing. I don’t need to know why an idea visited you today and not me. Or why it visited us both. Or why it abandoned us both.
None of us can know such things, for these are among the great enigmas.
All I know for certain is that this is how I want to spend my life – collaborating to the best of my ability with forces of inspiration that I can neither see, nor prove, nor command, nor understand.
It’s a strange line of work, admittedly.
I cannot think of a better way to pass my days.
Elizabeth Gilbert in Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Comments are welcome!