Creators create because they must, and the styles in which they pursue their perfectly acceptable madness are intimate functions of delivering them to someplace sublime.
Prestige used to be about what someone did or said or created. Contemporary prestige is now about accumulation of influence.
The next time you’re working on a project requiring many hands to complete, be sure to introduce yourself to the person making coffee with as much generosity as you introduce yourself to the top dogs on the team. The sum total of the effort requires the sum total of all involved.
The best smart people in my opinion are those who are unafraid to pose a challenging idea, even a contrary idea, but can do so without becoming a bore, or worse, a wrecking ball. Elite skills need to speak for themselves without practitioners having to mentally file everyone else into hierarchical categories.
Things are happening simultaneously, small and large all the time, for everyone. The moment you remember that simple thought is the moment you notice the details happening right in front of you, wherever you happen to be.
I recently spent some time with a young, passionate emergency care nurse about to ship out with Médecins Sans Frontières, aka Doctors without Borders. She’s headed to Monrovia, Liberia for a six to eight week deployment on the front lines of the Ebola outbreak. Not yet thirty, she’s already an MSF veteran in parts of the world that most Americans can hardly find on a map, to say nothing of being able to imagine themselves working there for a single day. To meet her you’d never know.
Trust is not simply about hearing the truth, or counting on someone to pick you up at an appointed time. Trust is about counting on insight and integrity mixed with courage and confidence. Trust is about knowing that people have your back while remaining unafraid to tell you you’re wrong.
There’s never a way to know where you’ll find the creative process. People find ways to express it all the time, and sometimes it appears where you least expect it. Many people aren’t even consciously in touch with what motivates them to exercise their creative spirits. It simply emerges like flowers from the ground. In more easily identified, “traditional” artistic disciplines the trait is easier to spot; we recognize paintings and sculptures more easily than smart marigold beds.
Here at the edge of the world creative souls still stir. With almost no time for anything but work and essential labors necessary to maintain life and limb, literature and accomplished music and modern dance will not grow. It’s a simple statement and it’s true, just like tomato plants to not yield fruit in the desert. But here and there, in nuanced ways, I see expressions of individual expression, of ways to remake the world.