The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for the rest of your life. And the most important thing is, it must be something you cannot possibly do. --Henry Moore, American sculptor
This quote from Henry Moore has been resonating with me all week. I've often admired those with a singular purpose: the painter who knew that was what she wanted from a young age, a dedicated scientist or engineer, humanitarians who have one goal. For me, it has been a quilted life of interests and passions that have evolved with along with my circumstances. I was a passionate student, a passionate teacher, and now I'm passionate about writing and creativity and their power to effect change in the world.
I also find his statement about "every minute of the day" daunting as I like a variety of things to happen in my day. But what I find most interesting is the last part of the quote, "something you cannot possibly do." The idea of dedicating ourselves to something that cannot be achieved, not completely, intrigues me for it pushes me to keep stretching, to keep trying new things, to keep learning and sorting and being in the process. This is a wonderful ode to the process as opposed to a focus on product.
For it is that process of being and doing that seems to me to be most central to the creative life, to the writing life. I want to be an explorer of the literary form, not a repeater of success. I want to let projects go when I've learned what I can and move on to a new one that has more to teach me, that keeps me pointed in the direction of "cannot possibly do."