I’ve been following the energetic creativity and general joie de vivre of Claire the illustrator for a good while. Sometimes young people give you hope – there’s a spark there: a passion, a purpose, a spirit. If you’re looking for an example of resourcefulness, seek her out. I thought she was a real individual who happened to be handy with a pencil, but it turns out she’s also handy with saw and set-square. She wanted for something, and went and made the damn thing. Now that is a kind of problem-solving psychology that is all too rare these days. And there’s a fair example of fatherhood here too. Go look.
Image lifted from http://illustratorclaire.wordpress.com/. Pretty sure she'll be alright with that.
The example set me thinking. Time was that there were three kinds of people: people who made stuff or dug it out of the ground; people who sold the stuff that was made, or else filled in ledgers to record how much was sold; and people who did bugger all. Each had a value set. The first put value in skill; the second put value in money; the third put value in blood, or else in tradition. It seems to me that there is something very honourable in setting store by skill, something noble about blood, and something essential about tradition. And that makes me lament all the more that practically everyone these days is of the second category. Everyone is a salesman or an administrator, and our lives are reducible to an overwhelming concern with the bottom line. I find very little by way of humanity in the mere chasing of green.
Alas, the artisan and the patron are not likely to be resuscitated any time soon. I therefore exhort you to do as our young exemplar does, and make something of something. Find some value in life that does not reduce to dollars and cents. If you have a frivolous hobby, pursue it seriously. Play an instrument? Dedicate yourself to mastering it. If you’re a gardener, don’t satisfy yourself with pulling weeds, but work to enchant it. Write stories? Get published! There is humanity in these things, for the human creature is artful and skilful. Therein lies one source of our cachet.