February 25th, 2009

Where did THAT come from?

I have brilliant friends. They can write and sing and program and construct and cook and paint and preach and THINK, for God’s sake! They work hard, know their crafts, commit their energy and will to what they do.

And then they obsess about quality.

To some extent, this is probably what makes them brilliant in the first place. They care. They want to make great good things. But the obsession sometimes gets in the way.

Because, no matter how brilliant a person is, sometimes he or she creates something awful. It happens. Some confluence of humors, some alignment of the planets, some unfortunate commitment to black velvet or limericks or cilantro derails the brilliance into something else. This is what trash cans were invented for, unless the object in question is compostable, recyclable, or abstract, in which case it should be sorted into the appropriate container for disposal on the designated day.

That horrible things get created does NOT mean that the brilliant people around me need to stop creating things. A limerick embroidered in cilantro on black velvet may have no aesthetically redeeming qualities whatsoever, but the maker can learn from it (even if the lesson is about the inadvisability of embroidery with herbs) and move on to the next project. Pitch the damn thing and make something else!

Just don’t stop making. The world needs as much brilliance as we can muster.