Marble Angels

People are creators. But I doubt that many realize this. We are not meant to go out into the world and find flawless things, we are not meant to sit down and have flawless things fall into our laps. But we are creators. We can create a beautiful thing out of what we have. The problem with idealistic people is that they see themselves as receivers instead of creators, they end up hunting for the flaw in everything in order to measure it up to their ideals. Now, when you see yourself as a creator, you can look at a chunk of marble and see the angel within it. Then you carve until you have set that angel free.

It’s creators that the world needs. Idealists are takers. Creators are demi-gods.

The above is something I recently said. One of my major inspirations in life is Michelangelo, who once said: “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” Before my visit to Italy, I didn’t know terribly much about Michelangelo. But after standing in the magnificent presence of Michelangelo’s David, and walking in his footsteps in Florence (literal footsteps in the Medici territory) I realized that he is the person who most inspires me.

Today I’d like to discuss my recent writing.

We, unfortunately, are living in an era when idealism is encouraged. But let me ask you... if everyone in the world expects to receive all the most beautiful and most perfect things, then who is supposed to be making these beautiful and perfect things? If everyone is an idealist; then where are the creators? Who’s chiseling at the chunks of marble? Because people today aren’t being taught to chisel chunks of marble, rather, people are being encouraged to find the marble angels. It is good to look for marble angels; but it is better to be Michelangelo! And if there are no Michelangelos, there are no marble angels! What has happened to all of the demi-gods?

In a slightly related post on my Writer Page Timeline, by a reader named Preston, he asked me about these words of mine:

The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.

He said that he is so wrapped-up in daily fears that it has become like an outer shell/ crust around him, and he asked how he can apply my words above to everyday life in a practical way, to which I responded: “The bigger your fears, the bigger your potential bravery. The bigger your fears, the bigger your potential courage. Courage isn’t measured by how much fear we don’t have; but courage is measured by how much fear we overcome. If you have no fears, this doesn’t mean you are brave. So you have to see yourself, fears and all (like a chunk of marble) and then you have to see the potential for courage (like the angel within the marble.) The way that you can “throw yourself out into the open” on a daily basis, is by going beyond your ideals, by going beyond your own opinions and judgments, by going beyond what you already understand, to step into the territory of what you don’t understand yet. And from there, you will become exposed, you will learn, you will change, you will grow, you will live.”

Michelangelo, by the way, was not someone who saw himself as entitled to beautiful and perfect things. That’s not why he carved angels out of marble. In fact, Michelangelo was more like a slave to the Medici family. Commissioned to live here, commissioned to live there— one could say that he was forced to see the angels in the marble. One could say it was his only possible way to see beauty. Now look at what he made, look at what he did! And if he had never lived? We would have never been able to bear witness to some of the most beautiful and magnificent creations in the history of mankind.


1 comment:

  1. Today, of all days I found you and your beautiful writings. I just want to let you know how beautiful your words are and how deeply they touched me. You are a beautiful soul and it's truly an honor to have the opportunity to read your articles. Your words inspired an "aha" moment for me that I have been struggling my whole life. Today I realized that for 21 years I have been that same scared 5 year old kid that plays in the sandbox all alone, because of many fears. I realize that every experience that I have robbed myself of has been dictated by that scared 5 year old and that 5 year old has refused to come out of the sandbox to play with others. I have been stuck and for over 20 years I have created many beautiful things, but refused to share them for the fear of rejection and hurt. Well today I tell that 5 year old that I am with her, that I love her more than anything and anyone and that I accept her with all her imperfections. I tell her that I understand and I recognize her external and internal battles and that I forgive her, I forgive her for keeping me from experiencing the world, because the world has seemed like a really scary place. I tell her that I will love her the way she has never been loved. I tell her that we can come out of that box together and we don't have to leap out or run we can take small steps. We can take the smallest steps possible, as long as we come out of the sandbox. I tell her that I love her no matter what, she can do no harm and I know how amazing and beautiful she is. Although she has imprisoned me in that box I cannot be mad at her, because she has taught me so much in that sandbox. She has tried hard, very hard to fix things in the sandbox, to create her own rules and her own world, however she hasn't recognize that the sandbox is perfect as is and that she just needs to learn to let go and "throw herself out into the open". I tell her the world might seem scary, however it's better to be scared than hopeless. I tell her that yes life is scary and kids will be rough and sometimes mean, however there are so many others that are great and so many others that understand why she has been in the box playing all alone for so long.

    Thank you.


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