this persistence, it is the very thing we are made of. Flesh, bone, blood, persistence. I believe it is what holds us together at our very core. Many have forgotten. Too many. As we have moved into places, initiated our ascent, motivated by fear, by threats, by bribes, by guilt, by the need to prove how successful, beautiful, important and relevant we are …. the slow, steady, mundane pace of persistence is in danger of being lost. forgotten. forever. we are in trouble.
Its not sexy. Or radical.
Its not juicy. Or big.
say it. listen to its whisper.
Persistence is not about taking risks, making leaps of faith, diving into the unknown. It is not the “just do it” mentality of pop culture fame and fortune. Nor is it the ignorance of looking the other way. Of giving up and giving in. I can’t bear to hear one more person applaud the accomplishment of tough as nails pushing through barriers, of the value of being a radical risk-taker. I can’t bear to hear one more person tout the ‘let it all go and just wait for sign’, the trust in the universe and you don’t have to ‘do’ anything, mentality either.
Where is our sense of balance? of persistence?
I know. I look to the artists. Not the ones you’ve ever heard of. Not the ones in museums and big deal NY galleries. Not the ones who are famous, or almost famous, or who have created a life that makes them a true living through their art. No. Not them.
I look to the real world, struggling, mundane, ordinary artists who persist. The ones who, in addition to full time jobs (by necessity), families, responsibilities and general adulting, still… still make time to make their art. They do it without recognition. They do it without reward. They do it in too small spaces, in too small gaps of time between things. They don’t do it perfectly, or every day. They don’t waste their precise little time applying for shows and recognition. But still…. but still, they persist. Unknown to anyone they persist. They persist in spite of everything. When every impulse, pressure and sign indicates how difficult it is, they persist. why? Why? Is it just for their own gratification? Is it just so they don’t forget who they are? or maybe, just maybe, they are silently teaching, leading the way in the invisible realm. Showing, guiding us, in the principles of persistence.
If you want to know the truth about persistence and not some trademarked version of it, you must seek these people out. Understand what it means to buck the trend of accomplishment to find the soul of authenticity.
Look to the artists. The quiet ones. The not motivated by success ones. There is so much wisdom here.
Lets not lose touch with the heart of persistence.
I know. I persist.