Thursday, October 29, 2009
YOU: So what if only 14 people read what you’ve written? I will grant you that. I will concede that point.
ME: Thank you. Concede that.
YOU: It’s still worth creating.
ME: But, why?
YOU: I honestly can’t believe you had the gall to ask that.
ME: No. I really want to know.
YOU: But I don’t think so. I honestly don’t think you care what I’m going to say. You just want to be famous—
ME: --How dare—!
YOU: --and you won’t be happy until you’re a best-selling writer.
ME: Okay. I admit that.
YOU: Good. Now we can talk.
ME: That’s something you’re good at.
YOU: I’ll kindly ignore that last dig so we can talk about leaves.
YOU: Yes. Like on a tree.
ME: Okay. Leaves on a tree. Don’t see what that has to do with the price of tea, but talk away.
YOU: Do you ever really notice all the leaves on a tree?
ME: I have often been fond of taking note of various trees on my walks around the city.
YOU: Okay, you’re better than most of us, but that isn’t what I asked. I asked if you’ve ever really noticed ALL the leaves on a tree. As in, ALL.
ME: Uh, no. I can’t say that I have.
YOU: But, they all matter don’t they?
ME: You want me to say “yes”, so I’ll say “yes”.
YOU: If the leaves weren’t all there, something would be missing.
ME: I guess that’s right.
YOU: Why do you suppose God created stars and planets we can’t see?
YOU: --And what value is there in creating fish or other animals that will never be seen by a single human eye?
ME: Well, there’s the balance of nature, isn’t there? That has to count for something.
YOU: Yes, true. And that is my point. There is value in things other than in the way they serve our personal desire for fame. Some things just are because they're good-full-stop, not because they serve to make us more well-known.
ME: Yes, true.
YOU: The value of something is not determined by the number of humans that notice it. Beauty is beauty, whether it’s well-marketed or not. You don’t have to make a profit or become famous to have significance. There is still beauty in hidden beauty. So, write your stories and don’t worry how many people read them. Or take your pictures and don’t worry if they get featured in an art gallery or published in a magazine. Or write a song that will never be played on the radio. Like God making a tree, form but a leaf and let the wind blow the leaf (brown or green) however it may. Learn to take pleasure in creating beauty for beauty’s own sake. Be a medium-sized fish, swimming in the deeps, unnoticed but beautiful, because God sees, God sees.
ME: Yes, God sees. I do believe that.
YOU: Good. Now get back to work.