More Philosophy of Art

I recently said in other conversations:

Daniel Burnham, notable American architect, was quoted after his death as saying, “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will not themselves be realized.”

Burham designed Washington Union Station, where I work, and was the genius behind the national mall in Washington…amongst many other grandly realized city plans.

This led to an amusing discussion of undead wise men and weird inventions…

Well, nobody said in what direction that inspiration had to go! Or–as is often asked–what constitutes greatness? The idea is not to dream of what you can’t do, but what you can do. And ‘plans’ means to me keeping your feet on the ground and staying fed and sane, while exploring the realm of the possible, one’s inner greatness.

It is so very easy to crush one’s spirit right out of existence; I am seeing it in my father-in-law, who asks to die every day–and he’s not especially moribund.

I love what Masha Holl, a writer friend, has said about the Art and the Craft being the point of a writer’s journey. That’s definitely the Word on the subject. I have come to this wisdom myself fairly late.

It is possible (that word!) that the point of all this is less the finished product at the end of the project and more what you know yourself to be as a result of having done it: having the discipline and strength to continue with your long-term project (art, writing, weight loss, music…) which adds up in the end to self-respect.

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