Inspiring Things in My Room: 5 Make Your Own Path

by tomwrightdreamer

You may have noticed that I am seriously off-kilter in my weeks. I am still doing the pages, and I feel like I am really living the Artist’s Way; I am working full time on my evening of short Ayckbourn plays and loving the process of being in the room, and realising that I love having other people deal with all of the stuff outside the room for me. But I am struggling with Artists Dates (and real ones, possibly a topic for another time) and the tasks. So I’m in mid-week 8 and probably will be until next Sunday, given that I am working twelve hour days much of the week. So you get a little one of these instead.

This hangs above my bed:

Directors often get obsessed with emphasis. Sentences like ‘I didn’t say she stole the money’ can mean entirely different things when a different word is stressed:

I didn’t say she stole the money. (Jeff said it.)

I didn’t say she stole the money.

I didn’t say she stole the money. (But she did.)

I didn’t say she stole the money. (But someone did steal it.)

I didn’t say she stole the money. (It was resting in her account.)

I didn’t say she stole the money. (She stole some other money.)

I didn’t say she stole the money. (She stole my monkey. And I want it back.)

So when I first received this beautiful print from a wonderful friend, I immediately pictured a man with a shovel refusing to help someone struggling with their home repair, ‘Make your own path.’

It is, of course, a beautiful exhortation (printed on an old map, in case the photo isn’t very clear) to live our own lives fully.

It reminds me of this quote:

‘There is no such thing as a whole life of smooth sailing. Therefore, you do yourself a favor by taking on difficult challenges, forging and strengthening yourself in your youth, while you’re healthy and strong. I hope you can see all difficulties as the material that will enable you to develop a big heart and become people of depth and substance.

Try to be as active as possible. Just by being young, you possess a treasure more valuable than power or fame. To be young is to have hope, passion and freedom. Your whole life lies ahead of you, brimming with possibilities.

Rather than a life of blank pages, it’s better to live a life crammed full of memories of struggles and wonderfully varied experiences. Not to make waves, not to leave behind any history, but just to grow old and die, is a sad way to live.

Do not wait! While still in your youth, you can become the main actors in the human drama unfolding around you, the shapers of history. Even if you feel powerless, that it is difficult to believe in yourself, please try not to be easily swayed by the views of others, and hold true to what you know is right. Try to believe in yourself.’

Daisaku Ikeda

And if that’s not the spirit of the Artist’s Way I don’t know what is.

By the way, youth in Buddhism is a spirit of hope and possibility, not necessarily literally being young. I have to remind myself of this when things like this strike terror into my heart. Hopefully see you next week.