The Value of Destruction

As artists, we are always in the business of destroying something in order to make it beautiful. It can range from the physical plane, such as creating wax molds in casting metal, painting over old canvases, sculpting scenes out of sand, to the metaphysical plane, such as challenging preconceived notions of social norms, or sacrificing good opportunities or an old habit to aim for a higher goal. We are no stranger to destruction, or to any associated pain or suffering. Rather, it is our desperation that keeps us moving forward, and the promise of beauty that keeps the knife in our hands.

It is rather the question of how much to carve out that leads to hesitation. And my dear fellow artists, I know exactly how that feels. I know it when I’m sitting at my desk, mind devoid of inspiration when that social media site is just a click away. I know it when I see others take their art and run faster and further away, until giving up seems like a better option than chasing them. Where does the knife start? And where should it end in order to get me that much further with the least amount of hurt? These days, I find it hard to even lift the brush without the pressure of doubt weighing me down. There’s just so much to do. So much that I don’t know, and can’t do. So much that I can know, but there are hardly any guarantees in this world.

So I wait. So we wait, like a star on the verge of becoming a supernova, and hope there’s enough gravity within us to pull the important pieces back together again. And when we reform, we will be more beautiful than ever, at least until the next time we’re not satisfied.

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