If you’re interested in creativity and have not seen the documentary Man on Wire, add it to your Netflix cue. It is the story of Phillippe Petit’s high-wire walk in 1978 between the two towers of the World Trade Center, then under construction.
There is a scene in Man on Wire when Petit shows and describes the exact moment when he shifted his weight from the foot on one of the towers to the foot on the wire his team had strung between them, illegally and under the cover of night. It was a moment of commitment unlike any other I have seen. It could have been the moment of his death. Mercifully it wasn’t. Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!
In my fledgling experience, there are many such moments on the creative journey – although, thank God, I haven’t yet encountered anything life-threatening. For those of you who don’t know, on Thursday, April 10, I launched a Kickstarter campaign that should enable me to publish my first book, In Mr. Handsome’s Garden. Launching the Kickstarter campaign was – what should I call it? – the beginning of the moment of truth. By May 15, I will know if my words have hit the mark with people or if I need to try this again in some other way.
But this is a blog about creativity, not about me. So let me move to my conclusion (which, by the way, I often find the hardest part to write).
Every endeavor – a child, a wedding, the decision to open a bowling alley or to step onto a tightrope – is the beginning of a chapter, and there is no knowing how it will end. Mercifully, whatever decision we make is the right one. If we decide to take the risk, it is because we can take that risk at that moment and believe it is the right thing to do. And, if we play it safe, that is also the best decision at that moment. You cannot make a mistake, you just follow the course you have chosen, holding on to your faith that it is right. Time will tell, and you will know when and how to make mid-course corrections.
The Bhagavad Gita teaches that our duty is to perform the tasks we’re call upon to perform without any care for their “success.” We must do our best always without attachment to achieving an outcome, a dream or anything else that we – our egos – want. When we perform our tasks out of pure love and for the joy of performing them, then we succeed. After doing that often enough, we rest. A tall order!
Namaste, my friends.