Look! Look At Me!

Image by Michael de Groot from Pixabay

 

I know a woman who takes the most amazingly beautiful photographs and posts a lot of them on her personal Facebook page. They are truly of National Geographic quality. Her friends keep encouraging her to enter contests, display her pictures more publicly, or sell them, She politely thanks them for the compliments but as far as I know, makes no effort to capitalize on or publicize her work. The photographs serve no other purpose than she enjoys taking and sharing them with those of us who are lucky enough to be her friends. I consider this an admirable quality, the ability not to shout, “Look! Look at me! See what I can do!” It takes a certain kind of character when what you do is so good, not to flaunt it a little. It reminded me a little of an interesting piece I saw on the internet the other day:

“Unpopular opinion: I don’t think your life has to have a purpose, or you a grand ambition; I think it’s okay to just wander through life finding interesting things until you die.

I think this goes for art too; you can just make the kind of art you find interesting and you don’t have to plan some great arc to your literary career.

I think the traditional (Western, white) narrative arc has tricked way too many people into thinking their lives have to have one grand epiphany, some flash of great meaning and deep insight, when in reality most people experience these things in much smaller ways throughout life.
I think this also leads a lot of people to miss the stuff that actually makes them happy, because it’s mostly the small stuff. They spend their entire lives looking for a lightning strike and miss out on everything else.”

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