the beauty of pain

The world remembers many names,
but does it know their faces?
Does it know their stories?
Can it see their traces?


Boulevard des Capucines, by Claude Monet (1874)

Claude Monet

Claude Monet, impressionist painter ( 1840-1926) was in dire financial straits and dealt with depression for much of his life. In 1868 he tried to commit suicide by throwing himself into the Seine. He also frequently got frustrated with his work. It is said he destroyed as many as 500 of his paintings by burning, cutting, or kicking them. He once wrote that, “Age and chagrin have worn me out. My life has been nothing but a failure, and all that’s left for me to do is to destroy my paintings before I disappear.” Continue reading



So you can fly? So what? So can I . . . uh, I mean . . .

I got to thinking about my last post. Why is it that we resonate with B.B. so much? Is it that he’s superhuman? More than fifty albums and a gazillion hits is pretty herculean.

But, no. That’s not it. If he were superhuman, we wouldn’t be able to relate to him. That’d be like saying, “I love Superman because I can fly.” But we can’t fly. In fact, the only reason Superman works is because he’s actually Clark Kent, and Clark has his downfalls, too.

The best villains are those we feel sorry for, and the best heroes are people just like me and just like you.

And that, I think, is our clue.

B.B. had a talent. As a kid, he had rhythm. He had rhyme. He had a voice. And, most importantly, he had a song. His song was his passion, and it was his passion that carried him through. Eighty-seven years and he’s still singin’ and playin’ his heart out. And he’s loving every minute of it.


Clark Kent’s a goober—just like me and you (images:

And that, I think, is our second clue.

Everyone has a talent. Some of us have a few. B.B.’s was music. Michael Jordan‘s was sports. Einstein‘s was science. Shakespeare‘s was words . . . Clark Kent could fly. Monet could paint. Tom Hanks could act . . . You can _____. I can _____.

The people the world remembers are those who had a talent and went for it with everything they had. They went for it because they loved it. And because they loved it, people loved them. Their talent had become their gift: the world was a better place because of them.

Can you imagine a world where everyone was doing what they loved?


While everyone else in the blogosphere is concerned with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), inexperienced bloggers like me just want write. We nonconformists recognize that, even if we could pump out 50,000 words in 30 days, most of those words would suck. Not to mention we have other lives. I have not yet achieved my dream of being able to sit at my computer all day with nothing else on my plate but to write, write, write.

Maybe someday.

Not that I’m opposed to NaNoWriMo. I think it’s a great idea: Write for a cause. Work cooperatively. World peace. All that.

It’s just . . .

Personally, I’d rather work on attainable goals. Take the GRE, figure out grad school, freelance (I’ve got my first freelance article coming out this week!), exercise, write whatever I want whenever I want. I’ll bet you have responsibilities, too. Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure Dickens never wrote for NaNoWriMo? How about Shakespeare? Tolkien? Austen? Homer?

That’s what I thought.