Monday, March 30, 2009

On Getting It

In the Mirror

Mr. Ross had allowed me to dream, but dreams are just fantasies unless they are rooted in a solid understanding of who you are. I like this statement from Bill Strickland. Knowing ourselves, what we have to offer to the dream and what we still need to get to make it happen, seems paramount.

There are so many ways I could go with this, but I'm taking it down an unexpected alley. Here we go. Ninety-degree turn.

I read this poem at Jim Schaap's the other day. He wasn't sure if he should share it, if it's legal to reprint someone else's poem on his blog. It might not be. But if I were the quoted poet, I wouldn't say a word. I'd just sit back and be glad that somebody out there wanted the dream I embody with words, that is, wanted what I have to say. (I would also sigh deeply that the possibly-illegal-reprint sold three books within 30 seconds, as one very impressed reader marched straight over to Amazon and plopped her credit card on the cyber-counter).

Anyway, here's the rub. Part of what we need in order to achieve our dreams is the ability to share our work openly. Publish our words, our artwork, our music, on our blogs. Give it away to friends on little pieces of perfume-scented paper, without scrawling 'copyright' on all four corners. Get out of the alley and into the light.

In essence, this is what Strickland did when he began walking the streets, inviting kids into his art space. It's what he did when he faced his first little fund-raising opportunity. He took his love for art and turned it outwards, shared what he already had in order to get what he still needed. And you know what? It worked. He got it.

Christy Tennant's Art is a Gift: Jake Armerding Gets It

Stone Crossings at Jim Martin's, GodHungry

Laura's Dream On
Marcus's Beauty Inspires Hope...
High Calling Blogs' Born Identity
Erica's Mission Work
In the Mirror art by Gail Nadeau. Used with permission.
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Blogger Billy Coffey said...


Perhaps we all sometimes struggle with the temptation to always demand we "get what's ours." But what is truly ours isn't given to us to hoard, but to give away.

Beautiful post, L.L.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I'm still working on "getting it". I wonder if Strickland has a program for developmentally delayed forty year-olds?

Really enjoying this inspiring story.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I don't know about the legality of reprinting someone's poem on your blog, but it seems that attribution is a key. I think most authors are pleased to see their work quoted as long as it is correctly attributed to them and not plagarized. And as you alluded to, most people who make their work available for free online often find that sales of their work goes up. But the folks I know of who make their work available freely aren't obsessed with tracking sales. They just feel they have something to say and want to share it.

Thanks for the link to Schaap's post. I enjoyed his discussion of the poem cited.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous heather said...

Technically, without permission, it's illegal to reprint lyrics or poetry (except for titles). Perhaps the poet has no problem with it, but to avoid problems, we should always get permission from the publisher (or producer if lyrics).
That being said, this post reminds me of a book I just became aware of called The Gift by Lewis Hyde. More info here.

12:46 PM  
Blogger nAncY said...

i like the last three words on jim's post. "used without permission".

12:52 PM  
Blogger nAncY said...

if one is selling something, i can see a bit of a snag. but, jim is not selling the work, he is actually advertising it for free.

the bare truth is that all is a gift to us for sharing.

12:57 PM  
Blogger nAncY said...

me again...
away to friends on little pieces of perfume-scented paper...
i like those words.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Dianne said...

Great post. I loved this - "Part of what we need in order to achieve our dreams is the ability to share our work openly." I find myself holding back but for different reasons. Slowly but surely I am coming to see the joy in giving with abandon. Sharing with safe people has been key; in that way it can truly be a gift.

1:44 PM  
Blogger elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I've probably told you this before; please forgive if I have, but I believe it worth repeating. About a year ago, I was writing a piece to include in an upcoming book proposal. I thought to myself, "now this is going to be a great addition" to my "yet to be published work." As gently, and yet as forcefully as God has ever "silently" spoken a word in my spirit, He said...

"Spend them now, elaine. Give your words to others. Pour them forth; you are not promised another day beyond this one. Spend them now."

It was so sudden and so clear and so, evidently, not my own thinking for in my own thinking, I certainly thought my words worth saving for a book.

That book has yet to happen, but the spending of my words? All the more. Something was released in me that day...a freedom to simply write, regardless of the desired outcome.

Today, I completely trust God with the outcome of all of my words. I didn't then, but I do now, and should this day be my last on this earth, I'll go home to Jesus knowing that I didn't reserve my words for a better occasion. I spent them while there was still time.

For what it's take on the matter.

blessings and peace~elaine

2:44 PM  
OpenID cindyhan111 said...

I can smell the perfumed paper... can you DO that on the internet??? THAT would be cool!
Oh. I think you got it!!
Perhaps it's naieve of me, but I enjoy creating, and sharing for free.
Perhaps that cheapens my two cents??

8:49 PM  
Blogger RissaRoo said...

"perfume-scented paper"....there is indeed a scent that drifts around your words, LL! Even over the internet. Lovely! This has me thinking about saving words or sharing Elaine I found myself saving words for a book or for a short story, for me the root was a lack of faith. Lacking the faith that the words will come, and go, and new words will arrive to fill the spaces. Blogging has been so good for me in that sense! Writing is a little like love, in that the more you write and the more you share the easier and more abundantly the words come. Sharing expands your capacity and opens a flow that isn't there when you keep it all in. Thanks for this thought provoking post!

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Monica said...

I accept this as an exhortation; thanks. Maybe this is a kind of sacrificial giving. Giving our words like this is loving without expecting love in return.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

He uses you.

(He knows how. And simply I witness it.
I just wanted you to know...)

7:58 PM  

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