Truly Powerful People (470)

Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

It’s late. It is now past midnight. This used to be my golden hour, the time that I was most productive, most energized and felt most creative. When I was a kid I’d lie in bed and wait for everyone in my family to fall asleep. And then I would rise and draw and paint. I would create worlds in the quiet of the night. In the summer I’d open the window (my room was in the basement) and listen to the crickets and feel the cool air.

I knew even then that art meant something different to me – it was not about capturing images or lifelike portraits. I could do that. It was about something else, something that I had no words for and would never attempt to describe. My dad had an old textbook on comparative religions and I would read it when I was looking to put words on what I felt. Sometimes a passage would describe the holy and I’d think, “That’s close. Art is when people come to know themselves as something bigger. Connected.” Close.

Later, much later, I read the poems of Rumi and thought, “Rumi knows. Rumi knows what art is. And he is looking for the words, too.” My friend Sam taught me that poetry is language attempting to describe what cannot be described with language. Isn’t that remarkable; not that we use language to reach beyond language but that we want to reach, we cannot help but reach. We are compelled to reach beyond what we know. Always. We are glorious in our attempt to describe the indescribable, to full-fill (or full-feel).

This is what you discover if you know the night: every person you pass on the street is reaching. They also want to full-feel. They are just like you and like me. They are looking for the art, too, and wish they had the words to describe it. We are not so different as we pretend; we are not so separate as we believe.

2 Responses

  1. David, this is beautiful and tender. I’ll carry it with me.

    • I’m in Colorado with my parents and found the book on comparative religions. It will be coming home with me as a reminder….

      I hope the birds are singing to you (I am surrounded by bird song this morning!)



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