Without contours or undulations to catch rain or angles of sunlight. Hard, it needs plowing to make furrows into which seeds might be planted. Place for food to grow, trees to grow, dreams to grow.
Plowing ahead, in any field, is like farming.
As the farmer works the land, we need to work our craft – doing over and over things we are OK at until we are exceptional at them. Especially things we struggle with, things we hate, things we avoid.
The better we get at doing them, the less they will frustrate us.
We may never enjoy them, but 'the work,' or rather, that way of working, is a transferable attitude.
Greek goddess Nike personified victory and excellence. JUST DO IT, she said, because attitude is transferable: moving our 'attitude' forward from one piece of work to another, moving upward from drudge work to our passions - this way turns muscle to miracle.
More ancient Greek wisdom
“I have done it," she says. At first I do not understand. But then I see the tomb, and the marks she has made on the stone. A C H I L L E S, it reads. And beside it, P A T R O C L U S. "Go," she says. "He waits for you." - Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
“They sent forth men to battle, But no such men return; And home, to claim their welcome, Come ashes in an urn” – Aeschylus, Agamemnon
“Icarus should have waited for nightfall, the moon would have never let him go.” – Nina Mouawad, Blue Sun poetry collection
The first draft of anything is like the jeweler working with a gemstone – it needs you to 'cut and polish,' then cut and polish some more. Some more. Read again, write again, read some more, write some more!
Like the farmer plowing ground for the first time, just breaking the earth, but by the third time that field is worked smooth soil is ready to receive seeds that will flourish, just as the first few words on a page break the blankness, then populate the space to the point overwhelming it – but then cut, and polish, cut some more, polish some more = THE END.
Apparently, according to Greek goddesses.
P.S. – the story goes that someone is talking about a Grecian Urn (the kind with ashes in it), and someone overheard, asking, “So, what’s Grecian Urn?” The reply, “About eight dollars an hour.” ,,, I know, back to the keyboard, cut, polish, cut polish
Thanks, Mark! Two great ideas. I like how you always share your sources and I especially loved your voice mail message...made me want to call you, just to hear it! Now to the drawing board to change mine, SF, Lethbridge, AB