Five years ago today this blog began. My intention and goal was to do at least one blog post a week. One post a week would have made this Blog Post #261 or so. On the other hand, if I’d done a post a day, which quickly became my ambition, this would be Blog Post #1826.
But one thing I’ve learned, and relearned, in these five years: Quantity doesn’t mean much in blogging; QUALITY means much more. Post a thousand blogs, and the more you waste a viewer’s time, the bigger the crime you commit.
That said, the ability to draw, to sculpt, to compose poetry, to genuinely CREATE–generally, the more time spent doing creative things, the better we get at not wasting a viewer’s time. We become more creatively fit. We try things. Go down dead ends and beat ourselves against brick. Pull out something from our psyche with hard pliers, and hurt for it. Phone it in, and hurt for that too.
It is our job as creatives to be perpetually dissatisfied, to weep over the masterwork our efforts could have been but weren’t, to try, try again until we morph to some degree from tourist to native, and to not settle into a comfort zone of facile confidence. Ours is–must be–the most important job on Earth. Our job is to be a voice of the best that Civilization has to offer.
And so, both humbly and arrogantly, we must start with self-portraiture. We discover who we are, what we like, at what we excel, and at what we may never succeed. It is important, just as it is important for a hot fudge sundae to start out both hot and cold, that our focused seriousness be alloyed with relaxed, carefree play. This enables us to explore, and it gives our inner fire some motivation and Zing.
Today I started a page inspired by Billy Crystal’s “Fifteen Rounds,” which tells the life first of Cassius Clay and then of Muhammad Ali, from victory at the 1960 Olympics to defeat many years later at the hands of Leon Spinks. I have watched the two YouTube versions of this performance at least a dozen times. The theme is pure Ali: “It’s never too late to start all over again.” That mantra has helped me get through some tough times in these five years.
Near the end of “Fifteen Rounds” a determined Ali asserts that he wants to take on ol’ Leon again. “I’m old, I don’t like training, but I’m gonna do it. Gonna do my pushups, gonna do my situps. I’m gonna RUN WITH THE MOON!”
And so will we, Friends. When this work in progress is finished enough to be ready for your subsequent view, we will run with the moon!