As I was saying (A Moment of Epiphany) yesterday, those moments of epiphany don’t come along very often. They are gifts, in my opinion. You’re lucky if you get one of them in your lifetime – at least that’s the way it has been with me, and I’m very grateful for getting that one moment.
I’ve often wondered if everyone gets them. I suppose everyone does, but possibly for different reasons. I had a friend tell me he knew he was going to be a doctor from a very young age, and he set his course of study and study habits very quickly. He became a very successful physician, and the last I heard, he was teaching at a major medical school. That’s dedication to the call. I remember being young, and thinking I might want to be a doctor or dentist, because they both made good money. Not the best of reasons, and probably why I never had that moment of epiphany for the practice of medicine.
But what about the other professions? Does everyone have to have a moment? Does a future soil scientist look at the ground one day and ask, “I wonder why dirt is so … dirty?” Do future butchers look at cattle and dream of the porterhouse and T-bones? I don’t know. I suppose inspiration comes to us for all sorts of things – not just vocations. Inspiration is an amazingly mysterious thing – it usually shows up at the most unexpected times. I remember trying to solve a question in my mind for years and years, and the answer never came. One day I was out jogging, not even thinking about the particular problem, and all of the sudden the answer flashed across my mind. Who knows?
As I mentioned yesterday, my love of the process of art came to me on a day many years ago, and it has never left. I let it go from time to time, but it never lets go of me. I have to do it, just for the love of doing it, if nothing else. I took it in college, but in those days they didn’t teach you (I’m actually talking here about the ability to see and draw something), it was a lot of philosophical meanderings, which was all very interesting and abstruse, but didn’t help me learn the physical process.
So I finally did it on my own. I bought books by artists I admired, and they became my teachers. It was a very long, slow journey, but a very satisfying one in the end.
Except the journey never ends, because the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know. Which I guess is the way it should be.