📺 Here Is What Is


Beautiful things grow out of shit. Nobody ever believes that. Everyone thinks that Beethoven had his string quartets completely in his head—they somehow appeared there and formed in his head—and all he had to do was write them down and they would be manifest to the world. But what I think is so interesting, and would really be a lesson that everybody should learn, is that things come out of nothing. Things evolve out of nothing. You know, the tiniest seed in the right situation turns into the most beautiful forest. And then the most promising seed in the wrong situation turns into nothing. I think this would be important for people to understand, because it gives people confidence in their own lives to know that’s how things work.

If you walk around with the idea that there are some people who are so gifted—they have these wonderful things in their head but and you’re not one of them, you’re just sort of a normal person, you could never do anything like that—then you live a different kind of life. You could have another kind of life where you could say, well, I know that things come from nothing very much, start from unpromising beginnings, and I’m an unpromising beginning, and I could start something.

via Austin Kleon

4 responses on “📺 Here Is What Is”

  1. I appreciate the fact that you acknowledged those of us that work in jobs that are so necessary that nobody really ever thinks about it (Issue #274). I worked in the sewer system for over 35 years cleaning up everybody’s crap. The wealthy and the poor. I went to work every day and night and missed a lot of my children’s stuff so everyone else could go on spewing their crap in the world. Everyone in the Hallmark world is a writer, artist, antique shop owner, and it isn’t real, so give me a freaking break. Yes, I speak in past tense and present tense but I don’t give a crap about that either. Pouring a lot of crap out there, but I actually am a very happy person and love The Red Hand Files.

    Source: Red Hand Files No. 275 by Nick Cave

    Nick Cave responds to the comment about the thankless job of both those who work in the sewer system and the artist.

    Just as the New York sewerage system is a critical pillar of public health, so too is art, and although art may not literally protect a city from plague and pestilence, it does, in its way, make the world we inhabit that little less noxious. And without pursuing the comparison to absurdity, art has its equivalent trials – blockages abound and gloomy artistic ‘fatbergs’ clog the pipes of inspiration, yet still we gallantly gather up the brown water of experience and rinse it through the purifying vats of our imagination!

    Source: Red Hand Files No. 275 by Nick Cave

    This reminds me of Brian Eno’s argument that “beautiful things grow out of shit“.

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