The beginning of mastery is assuming our proper duty as light bearers for the world; in a world that pays millions for our attention as we absorb ourselves into crafts, that nourish our spirits, we return to ourselves. A garden is symbolic of how we must spend our time planting seeds, removing parasites, watering the soil, and being presently attentive to the demands of the garden; living purposefully is allowing a constant, steadfast, internal evolution, and continuing to confront the void by giving ourselves over to our craft. We discover ourselves through the act of nourishing, maintaining, and working towards the blossoming of our garden. We discover ourselves through struggle, love, and persistence; we learn the act of surrendering our desire to control the world. In order to become a master we must release the fear of criticism; we must realize the emotions, laziness, hesitation, doubt, and despair are blessings that must be welcomed and sublimated. Mastering our emotions aids our absorption into our crafts, and while many artists will let their fear defeat them some use the fears, doubts, and anxieties to deepen their craft. Mastery, growing and tending to our garden, is a commitment to ourselves, and a willingness to use every part of ourselves to bring our craft to life.

The Bath of Venus

I once compared myself to Dostoyevsky, Hemingway, Baldwin, and Joyce; I once feared my work wouldn’t be respected; I would ruminate on how I am 23 years old spending 6 hours a day 7 days a week on a craft when I could be doing so many other things with my time, and how slim of a possibility this would amount to anything. For these reasons writing terrified me, but I learned to counterweight these anxieties. My comparisons became a spiritual apprenticeship; I would carefully craft my art, and put out the best material, and I set goals of what I wanted to achieve over the course of 6 months to 10 years. Mastery forced me to find a way to keep my garden growing. Creating a space documenting my internal expansion dominated the barking dog that is unable to tell which emotion is friend or foe. On the days I sublimated despair I felt like the universe was speaking through me. I learned mastery has nothing to do with happiness, but involves a complete fulfillment of responsibility. If we survive the purpose our suffering will serve is the manifestation of our idea; our seclusion will result in a annihilation of the self, and all those hours, months, and years will be worth the people we have become.

Geneviève Daël, À l’abandon(Abandonned)

In order to get the job done deeply and with vulnerability we must not allow time to restrict our creativity. Creativity has a time clock different from ours, and working carving away at our crafts allows us to accept when creativeness rears its head; being steadfast with the patience required creative allows our minds to wander and develops a trust between us and our intuition. Through this spiritual discovery our past becomes inspiration for our creation; our sensibility develops in our present and we set higher aims for the people we want to become in the future. Through mastery time becomes an ally as we create work that deals with the intimate truth of being alive; this intimacy thrusts us into communion with the world. If we are willing to be vulnerable the ability to recognize how connection to the world unfolds. Time soon becomes meaningless, and the days are filled with entering ourselves and pulling everything required to create a work that once sat an inch beyond our reach. We must fight against the collective tendency to walk the path of least resistance, and love our crafts deeply. Continuing to fight against fear, and superficial definitions of success. Success must become equivalent with mastery.

“Take Care” by Jordan Bolton

The way we make love, the way we create, and our desire for mastery is intimately connected to every part of our lives. We create representation of us; we become what we give our attention. Which means we become what we create. As I write this piece I am involved in the process of mastery and self-discovery; every moment is an act of creation, gestation, and maturation. We are all simultaneously actors in a play and the audience.

An absorbing errand is a beautiful book about the importance of using your fears of creation to ignite creativity and continue pursuing an absorbing errand.

An absorbing errand by Janna Smith