Saturday, September 17, 2011

when the chips are down

For the life of me, I cannot locate the man's name or bio, but I remember him with fondness and, as I look around me, a certain awe. I came across his exploits in an article about him I read a long time ago -- a master of metal work who created such things as the bronze (?) doors on St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.

As I recall, badly, he came from central Europe and worked in the United States both before and after the Depression.

But what really struck me, aside from the beauty of his works, was that during the Depression, a time when there was less and less demand for his ornate and expensive creations, he spent much of his fortune supporting those who wished to learn the art of metal working. He loved the art enough and believed in the art enough to maintain the art when those around him were unwilling to pay for or perhaps pay attention to the art. He placed his art above personal gain ... though I admit I don't recall his dying destitute.

How many are there who have such a willingness and determination to keep the vision alive ... win, lose or draw ... keep the vision alive?

Not everyone has a dream whose expressions are as grand as that metal-maestro. But everyone does have a dream of one sort or another, dreams that are often remembered only later, after those dreams have been whittled away or compromised by the exigencies of life. Something that was, in one way or another, bigger or other than mere self, a go-for-broke, try-and-fail-no-matter-what something-or-other. And I suspect that such a vision and such a willingness is nourishing to the human spirit and deserves encouragement.

Where failure is not an option and success is irrelevant ... this, I suspect, may be the Miracle-Gro of a human life. It has nothing to do with megalomania and quite a lot to do with honest living. Praise and blame are out of the question ... it's the living that counts.

No comments:

Post a Comment