|Risking morning in Taos, 5 by 7 watercolor, 140 lb. d'Arches|
"Being myself includes taking risks with myself, taking risks on new behavior--trying new ways of 'being myself,' so that I can see how it is I want to be." --Hugh Prather, Notes to Myself
We live in a world that discourages risk, that wants everything to be safe and secure and successful.
But there is no success if there is no failure, and no failure if you don't take risks. And no excitement in living in a rut of routine and repetition.
I've just read Hugh Prather's Notes to Myself, from 1970, and his aphorisms and insights were just what I needed ...thoughts on living now, being authentic, on being yourself, on pleasing people, on humanity and more.
Out of that book came this painting, taking risks every step we take, every day. My risks include standing up to paint when the spirit is dry, in attempting things I'm afraid of, in trying new things--all part of living changes and "retirement."
A few other snippets from his book that spoke to me:
- "Perfectionism is a slow death."
- "Why do I judge my day by how much I have accomplished?"
- "Dishonest people believe in words rather than reality."
- "There are no absolutes for something so relative as human life."
- "I like a man with faults. To err is human--I;m uncomfortable around gods."
- "If the desire to write is not accompanied by actual wrting, then the desire is not to write."