Life is going to bring you plenty of challenges. The attitude you have and the choices you make are going to be a deciding factor. Prepare yourself. Ask yourself if you’ve cultivated the proper skills, awareness and tools to deal with the challenges when they come your way.
Enjoy the metaphor in today’s Message From the Road.
On my June 8th post I wrote about a chance meeting my son and I had with a young artist who created clay sculptures and ultimately bronze casting of famous blues artists. I indicated that we had met in 2001 at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California and that I had lost the contact information that he had given me.
Well, again, in the words of the late Paul Harvey, “Here’s the rest of the story.”
My wonderful wife, began looking through the web and trying to seek out who this artist might be. We found one that seemed to have the proper credentials and I sent him the following e-mail…
Daniel, I’m curious if you were in Anaheim, House of Blues working on a John Lee Hooker piece for your blues collection around 2001? If so we may have met and I lost the phone and address you gave me. I just wrote a blog about that meeting. Love to know if it was you.
The following day I received this reply…
“Yes, Greg, that was me. You were there with your son?”
Well needless to say I was quite thrilled to have found my artist after all this time, his name is Daniel Edwards, and he has become a very successful artist. He has sculpted many celebrities over the years and so I feel very fortunate to have had this chance meeting with him so many years ago. A meeting that, much like Daniel’s art, shaped me through the experience.
So, now what? What are the messages here?
Pay attention to the thoughts that you have. Often times the ideas that we have come and go and most often we don’t take the time to acknowledge or record the “inspiration”.
The idea for my previous post came to me as I was reflecting on a sculpture that my son had created in high school. It’s a sculpture of a shoe and I’ve always seen it as a metaphor for the idea that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. The “inspiration” came to me and I paid attention to it.
It’s called inspiration, because it comes to you IN-SPIRIT. I believe it’s coming from a higher source and that it’s something that either has significance or leads to something significant.
By writing about my experience of meeting Daniel, I was “inspired” to go searching for him. It became a little mini adventure for me. It created a higher energy within me that was multiplied once Daniel responded that it was in-fact him.
What do we put off that, if we did it immediately would, in the process give us a greater degree of energy?
Who from your historical past have you been wanting to contact but have just put it off? Go do it NOW! There’s no telling what adventure might come from it.
So there you go, The Rest of the Story. Thank you for indulging me in this little trip down memory lane. Stay connected to your inspiration and just remember, we are all pieces of clay. We are being molded each and every day with the challenges and adventures we face and each experience shapes us into who we are now and who we will become.
Choose to be an adventurer and let your life be shaped by those experiences.
Questions to Ponder: What events have molded you into who you are today? Have you taken the time to journal how The Master Potter has been shaping you? What are the gifts and talents that YOU have that you could be using to help shape a better world?
The Master Craftsman meticulously sought out a unique wood that would create a beautifully designed body and instrument. He took time to explore the subtle grain changes that when cut, sanded and lacquered would produce a stunning visual masterpiece that through looks alone would attract people to it’s unique characteristics.
Then the Master Craftsman, the Artisan of sight and sound, put on strings of various thickness and tuning pegs that would stretch the strings beyond a relaxed, comfortable state.
It is in the stretching that each string achieves its’ unique and quintessential sound that is similar but different from the other strings on the beautifully designed musical apparatus.
It is this synergistic relationship between various materials and knowledge provided by the Master Craftsman that when properly tuned and put in the hands of the Master Musician that the instrument comes alive with an energy and sound so beautiful that tears of joy will follow.
And yet, left alone and not cared for or caressed, the beautiful instrument will begin to lose its unique qualities. And soon the strings will rust and become slack and the gorgeous wood will lose its luster.
Hopefully, in time, another Master will come along, see the beauty hidden in a lackluster instrument and begin a process of renovation that will bring back to life the fantastic look and sound originally intended by the Master Carpenter. With age, the wood becomes seasoned and not only retains it’s tone but resonates with a greater quality than when the wood was young.
Sitting by itself in the corner of a room the unique instrument has all the potential to create beautiful music. But it must be picked up and played by one who can make it come to life. Someone who is willing to put on new strings, re-tune each string that plays the unique note and is a synergistic part in the creation of a magnificent song.
So it is with each of us. We are unique beings who have been created by The Master Designer. We have each been given unique talents that must be continuously explored and tuned. Stretched beyond our comfort zones in order to find the sweet notes we were each intended to produce.
You are a wonderful instrument, treasure your gifts and explore life’s possibilities. Stretch yourself and surround yourself with other artists who will stretch you. The Architect of Dreams, has instilled in you the ability to create a symphony with your life that will make people shed tears of joy for having known you.
Questions to Ponder:
Why do we avoid stretching?
Why do we not see the beauty in ourselves and not pick up the instrument and explore its possibilities?
Why do we perhaps begin the adventure but put the instrument in a dark corner or case to collect dust, rust, become slack or fade in color?
Do we let other’s criticism of our playing of the instrument stop/prevent us from exploring its possibilities?
Do you believe the instrument was not meant for you? Perhaps another one is, seek it out!
Write your own symphony with the instruments that you’ve been given. You are unique and have talents no one else has ever had or ever will have. Believe in your gifts and make a life of magnificent music. YOU are a wonderful instrument…Play On!
It was a beautiful sunny Sunday morning as I sat reading my newspaper (just goes to show you what era this took place in). As I perused the entertainment section, I saw an announcement for the Anaheim House of Blues. The famous blues singer-guitarist, John Lee Hooker was in concert that very night. I asked my young son who was a huge blues fan if he wanted to go to the show. He had become an avid blues, and rock ‘n roll fan after I had jokingly, told him that “punk sucked.”
We arrived at the House of Blues several hours early. It was at Downtown Disney so I wanted to get there in plenty of time so that we could get a good spot to watch the show. This was a fairly new venue in the area and I fully expected to find hundreds of blues fans waiting in line.
As we approached the concert hall, we saw there was only one other fan in line. Being the outgoing individual that I am, I struck up a conversation with the young man and found out he was an artist from the great state of Connecticut. As a photographer, musician and overall fan of the arts, I was intrigued to ask him, “What kind of art do you do?”
He told me that he was a sculptor and that he was working on series of sculptures of the top living blues artists. Well, my fascination grew and went into wonderment when he asked if I wanted to see his current project of John Lee Hooker. Naturally I said, “Heck yeah!”
He dug into his satchel and pulled out an item that was preciously bubble wrapped for protection. He systematically unveiled his clay art revealing a magnificent representation of the great blues man. I marveled at the intricacies of the clay figure, the realism, and the movements he had captured in this unfinished piece of clay. I asked why he carried it with him. His reply was that “I only work on them while they are performing and that’s why I’m here tonight.”
Sure enough, as the crowd slowly entered the venue, I saw that my new friend had worked his way up to the front of the stage. During the opening act, he kicked back and enjoyed the music. But when John Lee Hooker came on stage the transformation began. The artist, unrolled his bubble wrapped clay and began to work on his masterpiece. I was as mesmerized by his working, as I was with the music of the great musician. Two artists performing together with totally unique instruments, with the same end in mind. The creation of special works of art in sight and sound.
Now, in the words of the late great —-Paul Harvey, “Here’s the rest of the story.”
Flashback a couple of hours to my initial meeting with the sculptor. As I stood there admiring the artist’s clay figure, I asked him what he intended to do with the clay. He told me that he was going to create a bronze casting of the series. BUT…”I only cast the clay after the performer has died, because that is the final piece of art.”
Wow! That is a life lesson that has stuck with me for over 15 years and I have used it extensively in my teaching and coaching.
The unfortunate part of this story is that I lost the phone number and address of this fine young artist and so I have not been able to stay connected. So if anyone knows this wonderful man, I would love to make contact.
So here’s the lesson. Each of us is just like that piece of clay. We are given life by The Great Sculptor, with potential not yet realized and throughout our lifetime we are sculpted and shaped by life into whoever we are becoming. We have successes, and we stumble and fall. Each time either adding or subtracting some clay. And it is in this process of being pushed and shaped that we finally reach a point where it is time to cast the final image.
So, the question, in the paraphrased words of Paul Harvey…”What’s the rest of your story?” How do you want your bronze statue to be perceived? I know you want it to be viewed as a masterpiece not a paper weight, right? So what do you need to change? Who or what do you need to eliminate from your life? Who do you need to intentionally become?