Are You on the Journey?

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 by Susan Gabriel

IcarusSeth Godin’s new book, The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly is all about courage, art, and why we need to fly a little closer to the sun. I haven’t read the book, so I can’t recommend it, but this quote really got my attention:

Art isn’t pretty.

Art isn’t painting.

Art isn’t something you hang on the wall.

Art might scare you.

Art might bust you.

But art is who we are and what we do and what we need.

Art isn’t a result; it’s a journey.

The challenge of our time is to find a journey worthy of your heart and soul.

 

I’m on the journey. Not only as a writer, but as a person constantly seeking the art and beauty in life. And I think Seth is right, the journey isn’t always pretty or comfortable and sometimes it’s even terrifying. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s the only way to go. Let me know what you think of this post. Have you found a journey “worthy of your heart and soul”?

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My latest book: The Secret Sense of Wildflower

“…astute observations and wonderfully turned phrases, with nary a cliché to be found. She could be an adolescent Scout Finch…A quietly powerful story, at times harrowing but ultimately a joy to read.

– Kirkus Reviews (starred review) To read the entire Kirkus review go here.

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5 Responses to “Are You on the Journey?”

  1. Barbara Younger Says:

    I’m on the journey. I got so discouraged, I quit the journey once, but I’m back on!

    This is random, as my daughters would say, but when I was in sixth grade, for a school project, I made a mobile of Icarus and Daedalus and the sun. Loved that project! Paper mache.

  2. Susan Gabriel Says:

    Hi Barbara,
    It is so nice to meet a fellow traveler. I get discouraged a lot, too, but at this point I’m more miserable being off the journey than being on. Go figure.

    The story of your paper mache mobile conjured up smells of glue and paste for me. Time for another art project, I think. :) Thanks for stopping by, Barbara. Always great to hear from you.

    —————-
    I’ve received a couple of responses from email subscribers. Here they are:

    “Great quote….I’m struggling right now to find the worthy journey…feeling a little lost…. ”

    and

    “I so agree…..
    Trélys”

  3. John Grabowski Says:

    > Art isn’t pretty.
    > Art isn’t painting.
    > Art isn’t something you hang on the wall.
    > Art might scare you.

    Amen.

    One of the things that makes me cringe is when people equate art with beauty. “Oh, Mozart is soooooo booooootiful,” they say.

    Cezanne, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, they were all not beautiful at one time. Van Gogh sold one painting in his lifetime. His contemporaries sold dozens of picture of pretty flowers in pretty vases.

    There is beauty in art, but it’s not just purdy thangs. There’s beauty in the tangled mess of a Jackson Pollock. There’s beauty in the anguish of Mahler and the sometimes unlikeable, often uncheery characters of a Deborah Eisenberg story.

    There’s beauty in cutting through all the kitsch and window-dressing that is so much of life and finding the truth in the center. That is beauty. The Greeks knew this four thousand years ago. They told us, if only we were smart enough not to forget it regularly.

    Or, a quotation the late, great Steve Jobs liked to bring up in relation to what’s art and what’s “beautiful”: “Fashion is what seems beautiful now but looks ugly later; art can be ugly at first but it becomes beautiful later.”

    http://www.breakingcopy.com/fashion-and-art-mona-simpson-steve-jobs-quote/

    Beethoven’s Grosse Fugue is incredibly ugly. But it’s beautiful.

  4. Barbara Younger Says:

    I can conjure up the glue and paste smells too. I remember when you got a slab of glue on a piece of paper. Those were the days! I still remember the smell of the thick poster paint in the easel stand, too.

  5. Susan Gabriel Says:

    Thanks, John. I agree wholeheartedly. And to Barbara, thanks for the memories of paper mache and poster paint–some of the favorite smells of my childhood–and let’s not forget the smell of a box of new crayolas at the beginning of every school year!

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