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“A Work of Art Is A Gift”

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“A Work of Art Is A Gift”

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. For the past week I’ve been meditating on my life, the blessings and that which drives me bonkers. Most of all, I’ve been struck by the wild generosity of others and how this challenges me to rise to embody higher levels of the same.

One thought I’ve been mulling over is this: “A work of art is a gift.”

I discovered it in Lewis Hyde’s The Gift, which a dear and generous friend gave to me as a gift. I think Hyde wrote it as a gift to the world. The book is 400+ pages (generously written, it seems), and yet I keep returning to this single sentence. It makes me think of the labor involved in the creation process. There’s creative sweat in a dissertation, emotional angst in a song, hopes and dreams in a business, and special thought for words in a sermon or a speech. The recipient and those who enjoy the finished product often do not see or even think of what went into creating what they now behold.

As creators, birthing our passion first as an idea and then as a tangible thing brings us through an emotional journey. Many of us are forever changed for having created. During the journey, we often wonder if it’s worth all the effort to pursue excellence. Will anyone read it? Will anyone buy it? Will anyone listen to it or even care that it exists?

Yet we keep going. Despite the frustrations, questions, wonders, and worries, we continue to create. This is when the creation process becomes a spiritual journey. We keep digging deep within ourselves just to get it done. In this way, what we create, our “work of art,” truly becomes “a gift.”

I dedicate this to all of you who are still in the middle of your creation process and struggling to make your work of art, or even your life, a masterpiece. Thank you. I appreciate your gift.

4 Responses to ““A Work of Art Is A Gift””

  1. Ryan A says:

    Now Christmas is approaching fast, and I am thinking similar questions. Will this person like the present I give them? Will they use it? However, the thought behind the gift is what makes it “a work of art”. Just as we dig deep in ourselves to create, our best “works of art” or gifts come when we dig the deepest and give others great gifts.

  2. Suelen E Santos says:

    All of us have been blessed by God with gifts. He gave us abilities in different areas.
    Some people do not see their abilities as a work of art. However we can make art in
    everything. For people who like to cook, they can make the food a piece of art. If they
    like clean the house, an organized and well decorated place can be their masterpiece. Therefore, in all other areas (science, math, literature, etc.) people can develop their gift into work of art. It is essential to do whatever we have to do with love and care.

  3. Tiffany F says:

    When I was little I remember that I would draw a picture and once it was done I would run to the living room to show my parents what I had done expecting them to be amazed at what I had created. Well, once I showed them I would get a nod or an empty “wow.” As I walked back to my room I would look at my work and wonder what I could do to get a better reaction. I then began to challenge myself in drawing more detailed pictures. I started to get better and better. In a way, I think this was a spiritual journey because it made me challenge myself to advance my skill at drawing, but also in other aspects in life. I believe my gift is still slowly growing as I push myself to do better.

  4. Leena Im says:

    I am not very good at art, so anything made anything drawn better than me would be “Gift art”. During my schedule i can correct a mind blown snack. With all the food i have in my room or house I mix them all together like a chemist. I would end up with something good.

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