This is what you never see:
how many canvases are marred,
mispainted, experimented upon,
how many brush strokes tried
on mere paper before one is laid on the textured linen.
You do not see the time spent staring
at the blankness, the emptiness,
trying to see what does not exist,
how much new paint to use
or how much white space needs to remain
in order to make that one small canvas
It is the same with words. The failures,
some of them funny, some of them tragic,
still more of them head-scratchers.
The papers tossed. The fragments saved
but never used again, never finding a home,
the words ripped out. New ones tried
like a blind man’s puzzle, unsure
even as you write exactly what it is
you are trying to create.
So yes it is a masterpiece.
Genius. Heart-felt and strong,
a tribute less to talent,
than a willingness to fail
again and again, until you stumble
on the things worth keeping.
About this poem.
About art, words or any creative endeavor. About love. About finding our way through faith. About chasing dreams and how to make them come true, which has less to do with perfection than persistence.
PS: The painting is one of mine, a detail from “The Sea at Wells.”