Sunday, November 02, 2014


Sunday Reflection: Perseverence

If you haven't checked it out yet... my dad has been blogging regularly over at the website for the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe.  You can see some of his posts here.

Recently, he wrote beautifully about the benefits of perseverence:

As a painter, I have suffered through periods of abject failure.  Canvases covered with bad starts begin to pile up against the wall reminding me of my ineptness.  My confidence lags and my hand holding the brush with the wrong color goes to the wrong place.  This can last for long periods of time.  It is important at these times that I don’t quit on the act that brings me such great pleasure, creating art. Working hard gets you through these times.

There are  times when we work very hard and persevere that we stumble on our best results.  It is if an outside force directs us to excel.  We can’t miss.  At these moments, our vision is clear and our hand becomes accurate.  For some time I thought this was unique to me.  Then, one day I was the audience of one listening to Wendell Harrison and Vaughan Klugh play a gig at the Scarab Art Club in Detroit.  They started out with some standard stuff but soon took off to some new places.  They seemed to anticipate each others’ next move.  They were alone with their music.  They were playing only for themselves.  They came up to my studio after the gig and we talked.  I told them that I thought they were at their very best.  They both smiled and said that it was close, but they didn’t quite make it to the zone. They explained this magical place to me. The zone.

I love that take on it.  Everyone deals with it too-- those times that it just isn't working, or people don't like what you are doing.  Jesus faced it, even, including when he went back to Nazareth. 

But then... it gets better.  And sometimes we get to the best.  As he describes it, here is a painting that my dad came up with at the end of a long day:

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