Collected Wisdom

Below are some thoughts, gathered from a variety of disciplines, that offer insight into some of the challenges we encounter in our quest to grow as artists and people.

On Perfectionism

                              "Ring the bells that still can ring
                              Forget your perfect offering
                              There is a crack in everything
                              That’s how the light gets in."
 Leonard Cohen, Anthem                             

"Your muscles will not move, of course, if you suggest to them the fear that the movement will lead to disaster. The very thought of disaster ('unendurable' torture) will block motion. Fear, even if mild, makes muscles tremble and the trepidation thwarts proper execution. If you want your muscles to carry out your commands you must not scare them into anxiety and hesitation. To strike the muscles with fear and then to ask them to act with precision is absurd."
— Dr. Abraham Low                             
from Mental Health Through Will Training                                       
© 1997 by Phyllis Low Berning and Marilyn Low Schmitt                                       

On Growth

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is a habit."

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
Anaïs Nin                             

"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."
Carl Jung                              

On Life

"Any idiot can face a crisis; it's this day-to-day living that wears you out."
— Anton Pavlovich Chekhov                              

"I have often said, and oftener think, that this world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel—a solution of why Democritus laughed and Heraclitus wept."
— Horatio Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford                             
Art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and politician.                                       
From a 1769 letter to Sir Horace Mann.                                       

On Making Art

"There is no such thing as an artist: there is only the world, lit or unlit as the light allows."
— Annie Dillard                             

"We know truth, not only by reason, but also by heart."
— Blaise Pascal                             

"You are right in demanding that an artist should take an intelligent attitude to his work, but you confuse two things: 
solving  a problem and stating  a problem correctly . It is only the second that is obligatory for the artist. In Anna Karenina and Evgeny Onyegin not a single problem is solved, but they satisfy you completely because all the problems are correctly stated in them. It is the business of the judge to put the right questions, but the answers must be given by the jury according to their own lights."
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov                             
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