“Do Not Quit Before the World Opens Its Eyes”
Typically, I do guest posts on Monday as I generally take one day a week off. (Yeah, right!)
However, when I was on twitter, I received a DM from a follower that inspired me to “keep on moving – don’t stop”. In my previous post “Day 66”, I speak of things that serve as a reminder and motivate us to continue, even when we want to stop. This post did that for me. It came as a reminder on a day that I needed it most.
Thanks to Gregor Collins, for sharing this post and his heart with me! My prayer is that the world will open its eyes and see him soon…
I hope this post inspires my readers as it has inspired me!
“Do Not Quit Before the World Opens Its Eyes”
I was on the phone last week sitting on my bed in my Hollywood, CA apartment, talking to my mom sitting on her porch in her Reston, VA condominium, and we were discussing a subject not uncommon to our regular weekend powwows: ART. In this case, the one involving paint. My mother and I could talk for hours about everything from The Renaissance to Post-Impressionism, from Michelangelo to Matisse, without realizing time wasn’t in fact frozen.
Kathryn Grant, an art history major from Vassar College, always went out of her way to expose my brother and I to the world of art. I remember once in high school there were 36 original Vermeers making their way for the first time ever from Holland to Washington, D.C., and so she rounded us up and we drove thirty minutes to a private museum that was free to get into, and stood there witnessing some of the most beautiful works of art of the last 300 hundred years. And the other kids were at home watching reruns of “Saved by the Bell.” Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
So back to the phone call. It included my usual lamentations about my career, all that I was excited about and all that I was frustrated about. I told her I felt strongly the book I’d been writing for the last three years was an anomaly, and possibly the most important thing I’d accomplish in my life. I admitted I was getting increasingly angry that every big agent seemed to gloss over my pitch as if I were a homeless guy begging for change on the ramp of the 101 Freeway. I pleaded to her, “How do they not see it???” And she replied, and I’ll never forget this, “Because it’s brilliant.” Boom. I hung up with invigoration. My mind raced. The big picture began to manifest itself. I logged onto Twitter, and Tweeted:
“To all the dreamers and artists, remember that all great art is never received well initially.
I say this as a humble reminder to us all: Most brilliant, forward-thinking art in this world – art that has had any lasting influence – was at first unnoticed, or ignored.
Vincent van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime. The world eventually opened its eyes. Emily Dickinson published fewer than a dozen poems out of the more than 1800 she wrote. The world eventually opened its eyes. Abraham Lincoln was called a “monkey” because of his long, dangling arms, and ridiculed on every turn during his path to the presidency, even up until that fateful April evening at Ford’s Theater. They thought it was blasphemy that an uncouth rail-splitter could possibly have the intelligence to run a country. But he stayed his course. Today we’re still talking about this man as perhaps our greatest hero. The world eventually opened its eyes.
Worthy Readers, if your art is truly brilliant – if it’s something that should have been created far beyond the present era, and has the potential to change the way we think and the way we see things – be prepared that the world will ignore it, and they will revel in their hubris. Remember that those who don’t see your brilliance are by very definition, un-brilliant. There is no shortage of insular decision-makers who tell you that what you have sucks, or worse, that what you have is not relevant. Don’t get angry with these downers who don’t see it, because if they shoo you aside like a fly on a watermelon they’re not worthy of what you have to offer anyway. Visualize your Knight-in-Shining-Armor. Intensely imagine that person or persons who deeply appreciate and understand and believe in what you have, whether it be an agent, a publisher, or a family member. That right person, that right idea, is out there. It just is.
IT WILL FIND YOU.
Keep fighting elegantly and unapologetically. Keep leading the masses to the Land of Promise with your heart and with your soul and with your brilliance. And keep creating art that furthers the very best of the human race. They’ll eventually be enlightened, and if they never are, at least you have something that no one will ever be able to take from you.
DON’T QUIT BEFORE THE WORLD OPENS ITS EYES.