Yes! Here’s to calling forth and sharing our inimitableness. I say, let the morning of you burst into being!
As you may know, I think about this a lot. But a scene about this territory is now emblazoned in my memory from the recent film, “Love and Mercy,” about Beach Boys’ musician/composer/visionary Brian Wilson. The vignette paints a simple yet stunning illustration both about how fiercely we need to own and share our unique gifts and how essential it is for us to do so. For ourselves and for the universe.
In the movie, we witness a young Wilson gathering a group of talented, seasoned session musicians to work on some of his groundbreaking music. One of the musicians calls Wilson over and essentially says the sheet music doesn’t make any sense and isn’t doable. To which a baffled Wilson replies with conviction “…but that’s how it sounds in my head….”
A bit later in the recording sessions, we see the previously questioning musician diggin’ the arrangement, nodding her head in appreciation of Wilson’s inventiveness. We know the rest of the story: How Wilson, defying those attached to the status quo, including his family and colleagues, blazed his own trail and created iconic, innovative music.
It takes insight and self-awareness and persistence to figure out why we’re all here anyway, and what each of us has to contribute. Contributions ranging from the seemingly minuscule, quotidien choices we make, to much more grand creations.
It also requires a huge amount of courage: to allow ourselves to be visible; to be vulnerable; to veer off into the wilds of the frontier with the ever-present naysayers and skeptics grabbing at our heels, trying to keep us in lock step with the known. But if we are truly cultivating our inimitable gifts, they will inherently differ from what’s gone before.
Or, as thinker/visionary Joseph Campbell said, “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”
This is our challenge; this is our job. As heroes of our own journeys we need to, and the world needs us to, figure out what is meaningful to us, pursue it like all get out, and then offer what we’ve come to know or create or be with the rest of the gang.
Again from Campbell:
“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: Fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won. The hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man….”
One reason why I so appreciated “Love and Mercy” is the depiction of Brian Wilson’s unwavering commitment to his own passion and vision. That commitment was not without significant pain and other costs, but it also ensured that he has lived his passion and his vision. And he has benefited the rest of us immeasurably by sharing them. Like every other hero who has ventured down his or her path and had the generosity to return to the community with one-of-a-kind treasures.
For me at least, that’s what it’s all about. You?
Photo credits: Card with Rumi quote: Tree Free Cards; third from top-Rich Davis