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

There is a special place in my heart for momma seagulls. Each morning I see them stamping across the beach, their teenager close on their heels squawking for food. The teenager doesn’t squawk once or twice; their cry for food is incessant, unrelenting. Their squawk is high pitched and piercing. The momma gull looks as if she needs an aspirin. She looks like some momma humans I have seen in grocery stores: every fiber of her being resisting the urge to end the life that she birthed. I am undecided whether the momma gull is frantically looking for food to stop the squawk or racing to get away from their fledgling before committing a capital bird crime.

Yesterday I took a walk with Pete. He is a gifted artist though is convinced that he must know something or achieve something to be valid. He is wrestling with the artist-as-outcome demon. What must he do to allow that he is and always has been an artist? Pete is retired and has been pursued his entire life by an inner squawking that refuses to yield. It says, “FEED ME. FEED ME. FEED ME.” And, like the momma gull, he either runs to find food (art-as-product) or runs to get away from the voice.

His dilemma is common among people who finally listen to the inner voice and attempt to feed the artist that chases them. The mistake is to think that validity is something that others grant to you. This mistake will have Pete hunting for scraps to feed a bottomless pit of hunger; the squawking will never stop. There is a happy day in every seagull and artist’s life when the momma turns to the squawking teenager and roars, “FEED YOURSELF.” For the artist, the equivalent comes in the moment when they realize that the squawking will stop the moment they care more for what they think of their work than they care what others might think of their work; validity moves inside. For the artist, the squawk is to be heeded, it is literal: “FEED ME,” means to feed my ideas, my opinions, and stop giving away the worth of my artistry, the nutrient of my opinions to others.

One Response

  1. how very wise you are and thanks for the gifts each day.

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