Monday, May 15, 2017

Climb Every Mountain

View from our hay field across the valley.
It’s really hard being an artist. It’s not the life shown in the movies. No sleeping until noon. No substance-driven late evenings. No afternoons in the coffee shop or theater. Just a lot of work, a lot of self-doubt, and a lot of pressure. Being an artist means taking a big risk. The risk that your work will not be appreciated. The risk that you won’t like your own work. The risk that your fears will be realized: You really do stink as an artist.
Double rainbow in our valley.
Being an artist is somewhat like being in a dream state in which you need to get to work every day but work is fifty miles away and all of the roads are blocked so you have to walk… in the snow… in flip flops… wearing clothes from Thom Browne’s runway collection.
View from the top ridge looking into the valley where our farm is located.
I saw the Sound of Music when I was five years old. Not really a movie I suggest for a preschool child. I guess my parents wanted me to have nightmares. Along with the scary stuff was the ridiculous idea that a large family with small children would to attempt to cross the Alps on foot without food, water, camping gear, or climbing equipment. Whatever the intent or however they really escaped from Germany, the thing that really stuck in my head was the ending with Climb Every Mountain. It’s kind of an anthem for artists.
Path leading to the top edge of our farm.
Instead of climbing mountains and moving forward, most of us, at some point, start placing mountains in our path. We have these ideas of perfection in our heads and use them as an excuse to avoid moving forward. At least that’s what I do on occasions. Everything must be “perfect” before the next step can commence. Branding must be in place before opening a website. The studio must be completely clean before working. Not really. Sometimes it’s just a matter of just doing it. Climb every mountain. Ford every stream. Follow any path that leads you from where you are now.

Rodgers & Hammerstein -- Climb Every Mountain
Finale -- Climb Every Mountain

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