After Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert’s second book bombed, she said it was alright. She went back home.
HOME to her was not her parent’s farm, nor the house she lives in; it was doing what she loves.
For her, it is writing.
Do you have a HOME?
My friend in San Diego has a studio built outside her house and a humongous kiln beside it. While potting, she’s home.
Mrs. Chiropractor in Hawaii also has a potting kiln and displays her beautiful art on the walls of her husband's business. At her house she has handmade tiles that she loves so much she doesn’t want to move, although her husband is itching for it.
Barry, the painter in Hawaii, sixty-something, lives in a school bus, rides a bike the 15 miles from Pahoa to Hilo weekly in heat, or rain, and paints beautiful Island girls and scenes. Is he HOME? I think so.
Kathey, here in Eugene, is home at her sewing machine producing exquisite doll clothes.
In War of Art Steven Pressfield says, first, “Nobody wants to read your shit,” (that’s one of his books, too, by the way), and secondly, it’s your job to do the work whether people like it, read it, or crumple it. Or worse, give it no attention.
You give it attention. It’s your baby. It’s your job. It’s your HOME.
The more you practice your art, the better you will become, and most importantly--you will be happy doing it. Sometimes what we call tinkering is more home than that place called a job.
It’s what you were meant to do.
Pressfield says that since nobody really wants to read your shit, it forces you to write something worth reading.
And think of the honor when someone gives their time to read, watch, or listen to that job called home.
You might say this is well and good for creative sorts, like painters, photographers, musicians, writers, and actors, but no, creativity lives in everyone.
“HVE ENC ,” see, even my cat. He wrote this by walking over my keyboard. Finally, he has settled down behind my computer, and not on my CAPS Lock key where he likes to sleep.
Now I can get my work done.
All along I have encouraged people to go for their dreams. Why? Why would I care?
Because my job is to do what I like to do and to encourage others to do the same.
What do you like to do?
This morning I was humming, “How Great Thou Art,” the gospel song. (I heard an Elvis Impersonator sing it recently and that set off fireworks in my brain.)
I thought of the writer of that song, of the connection with the source, the muse, the universal consciousness, God, whatever you want to call it.
“Consider all the worlds thy hands have made, I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder…” [Build to a crescendo.]
Incidentally, that song, of all the songs Elvis Presley sang, gave him his first and third Grammy. Ironically all Elvis’s Grammys were for gospel songs.
(The Grammys began in 1958 when Elvis was in the military.)
Elvis's connection with Gospel and Rock and Roll should come as no surprise considering Rock and Roll had it inception in Gospel music. Think of it, a rousing gospel song can get the blood racing and the feet to stomping. No revival meeting would amount to a hill of beans without music.
Artists of old called that creative connection the muse.
Some said their work was inspired.
Those are the artists who know it was not they who did the work, and thus their ego stepped aside.
Van Gogh, while not financially successful in his lifetime, did come from an earnest desire to share what he saw, and to present it in his own unique way. Painting was his work. (And perhaps while painting, it quieted somewhat the voices that yammered inside his head.)
Someone else convinced us that Van Gogh’s paintings were worth the price they go for today.
To my friend in San Diego California--You rock!
To Mrs. Chiropractor –keep on keeping on.
To Barry—your love inspires.
To Kathey, your granddaughter must feel the love in every stitch.
Go forth, do your work. Have fun. Be happy,
I love you,
P.S. Remember the accountant in the movie “You Can’t Take it With you,” who secretly made a little wind-up bunny? With encouragement, he left his job and moved into the artist’s home to make toys.
Her travels had taken her beyond the shores of her native continent, but she is back where she started, in Oregon.