The Good Artist

The clay is always the same. Brown, cold and in some kind of geometric shape. It’s manufactured by the ton, or in tons, as I am not up on just exactly how clay is made or mined or if it drops down from the sky. And you can’t say that no two pieces of clay are alike because they most definitely exactly are alike.

It’s what you do with your clay that counts.

At first embrace, clay is hard. It has angles and planes that are rigid and exude no life. It has no beauty. A mere shape with any clue to its inner value well hidden. It’s the artist’s eye that sees the worth of clay. And clay is cold. In its most elemental form, it does not produce its own heat. It’s only when a skilled artist begins to gently work the clay does it finally warm. Untouched clay is dormant and waiting for the gentle hand of the artist to bring it to life.

Some clay is fortunate and is molded by the gentle and loving artist. This clay becomes beautiful; its beauty enduring long after both artist and work of art are gone. It is spoken of in hushed, reverent tones and all can agree that while the artist created a beautiful work of art, the work of art made a beautiful artist. They play off each other like shadow and light and the world is a better place because artist met clay.

The unfortunate hunk of clay falls into the hands of a selfish and vindictive artist who molds a work of ugliness and darkness that is the perfect reflection of himself. He is harsh with his clay, pointing out its imperfections and flaws. With cold and rough hands, the artist abuses the clay, never allowing its inner beauty to be revealed. In the end, the clay is cold and dry and without life. The artist blames the clay for the failure and both artist and work are quickly forgotten.

The good artist recognizes the beauty long before the clay reveals it while the bad artist never sees the beauty that is right before his eyes.

Be the good artist in all things.

Love and peace.


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