Friday, 4 September 2009

Illustration Friday – Strong

 

TafterMod Self Portrait – after Modigliani

My Papa was a wonderfully prolific and articulate letter writer and it was he who sent this quote to me many years ago when I was in a bit of a dilemma about my future during my final term at school. I haven’t a clue who said these words initially - all I know is that I do love what it says.

“It's not enough to have a dream unless you’re willing to pursue it. It's not enough to know what's right unless you’re strong enough to do it. It's not enough to join the crowd, to be acknowledged and accepted. You must be true to your ideals, even if you’re excluded and rejected. It's not enough to learn the truth unless you also learn to live it. It's not enough to reach for love unless you care enough to give it.”

In a rather oblique way that quote reminds me a little of an interesting and thought-provoking question asked by Bonnie of Bonnie's Original Art Studio about blogging and our own particular reasons for participating in this comparatively new form of communication

Bonnie mentions that Will Schutz's theory of group development may be a contributing factor in what drives us to blog.  This premise was something that had never occurred to me. Having read her very well-expressed post on the subject I found myself pondering Schutz’s hypothesis with renewed interest. I didn’t comment immediately because it is a big question and one which needs a little thought, but this is close to what I posted in her comments section a bit later.

I think Herman Melville put it best when he said, "We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibres, our actions run as causes and return to us as results."  A perfect description of blogging, don't you think?

I began blogging because I wanted - rather self-importantly, perhaps - to record moments in my life which hold special resonance for me and which I hoped would interest others. But, mostly, I started blogging for the same reasons that Alistair Cooke read those ‘Letters From America’ until he was an octogenarian. I'm an expatriate and most of my friends are scattered around the world. Each post is a letter home, wherever that is, and it's also a letter about home, wherever that might be.

It's a letter to some child not yet born, and to the friends, colleagues, sisters, brothers and former classmates who might stop by. (Funny how those circles overlap.)

It is a journal for my children and grandchildren about the things, people, and places that I love. I could store up enthusiasms until I burst, but writing them down is a better way to absorb and share them. Much to my surprise and delight, I also discovered the joy found via "invisible threads" and "sympathetic fibres" - those human connections made along the way. I realised, too, that blogging brought the lovely comfort of strangers – and that fantastic buzz of interaction between like-minded people world wide.

And, let’s face it, blogging has a great beat and you can dance to it!

**Many of our mutual bloggy friends have already seen and commented – most eloquently - on Bonnie's excellent post, but for those who haven’t – there is a cerebral treat in store for you.**

26 comments:

soulbrush said...

and i do hope you are feeling a whole lot stronger in yourself too. Have just listened to a wonderful audio book 'Tears of the Desert' Hamilia Bashir. Do try and read it if you can ( story about Darfur)

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Tessa:

I'm so glad you enjoyed my post, but I am thrilled that you have posted what you wrote in your comments to me, again here.

Your comments and post here are so beautifully expressed and really illustrate how much blogging can enrich one's life. Your reasons for blogging seem to really come from the heart and are not just a means of promoting some vested interest. All that to say, I was quite touched by what you wrote.

Love your father's quote. What a gift from a father to a daughter. How you must treasure that!

Thanks for the link, hope you are well and I will be visiting again soon.

A Cuban In London said...

Your reasons for blogging resonate with my very own ones, too. Like you, I am an expat, and my intention is to leave little mementoes of what I like (mostly) dislike of my adopted land. I loved your father's quote and I get that vibe from your blog. It has a relentless energy. Keep up the good work and many thanks for the link to Bonnie's blog.

Greetings from London.

Elizabeth said...

Lovely painting. How wonderful to be willowy like a Modigliani.......!
The more I think about blogging, the more I like it.
Yes, it does connect us and it's not intrusive like phone calls.
People can visit as long or as briefly as they want
and those of us who long to connect and communicate can do so.
Hope the house hunting goes well!

Holly said...

"It's not enough to reach for love unless I care enough to give it.”

Tessa, that last part of the unknown quote is what I think of when I think of you. And, that my dear, is the other reason you are called to blog.

It's a way for you to share your ability to love with so many you may never meet in 'real' time. But, you and I both know that the truth of us exists in the Dream Time, and for all I know, that's what the Internet is...

Brightest of Blessings on You.

jinksy said...

"invisible threads" and "sympathetic fibres"
Don't they weave the most amazing Blogland tapestry?! If they are the weft, then I think love is the warp!

Nora Johnson said...

In a way blogging is like communicating with pen pals from all over the world. Truly inspiring!

Love yr father's quote too - a wonderful gift from father to daughter!

Wishing you a peaceful weekend,

xxLOLA:)

DEB said...

How very true Tessa - and cerebral and poetic as always.

Titus said...

My own thoughts echo Elizabeth's, I think. The freedom of blogging is an enormous attraction for me. I also love the diversity of what you find - and frequently, the truthfulness.

I love the colours of the self-portrait.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I have been so ticked to find so many wonderfully creative and generous souls out there in the ether. I now feel that , through blogging, I have friends all over the world. Truly.

Happy weekend to you!

lakeviewer said...

You touched a few chords here. What we want more than anything else are witnesses to our lives. We used to live our entire lives sorrounded by people who knew our history and our family's history. Nowdays, our narratives are started and ended in many continents; our needs are kept secret like our wishes; our families are splintered and fragmented.

You hit many deep chords with this post. Thanks.

kj said...

i'm speechless. it's confusing sometimes: i've come to love and care about people whose smile, eyes, hands, i cannot see, cannot touch. and yet we know one another. the connections you speak of are real.

i will head to bonnie's to read her post. tessa, you have articulated our individual and collective feelings. they mean so much. but i have learned one thing about loving from the blogs: real life relationships and interactions matter too. they can't be forfeited, only augmented.

and speaking of love, tessa: tsup!

xoxo

Beth Kephart said...

Without you blogging, I'd not have known you were out there. And that would be a sad thing for me.

Delwyn said...

Hi Tessa

that is a well thought through response to Bonnie's great post. I like the Melville quote as an illustration of the blogging network because it focuses on the interplay between us all and the energies that move around those threads of connection.

Your portrait is just perfect. I do love a bit of Moddy...

Happy days

Maithri said...

I think this portrait is so beautiful dear Tessa...

As for blogging...

I had a read of Bonnies interesting and thought provoking post...

Whilst i was not sure about Shulz's theory as it may pertain to blogging...

I AM certain that I agree with Tessa's theory on blogging ;)...

To me its about opening ourselves to the world... Its not about 'control' as much as it is about learning... not about 'choosing' who we include... as it as about learning to include more and more...

I began to blog because I wanted to share a simple message of hope with the world...

But over the last few years... I've realised that blogging has been part of my education...

In many ways, I blog...to learn...

Much love beautiful friend, M

Lori ann said...

I love your Fathers quote Tessa, and your self portrait.
thank you for sharing your thoughts on blogging, sharing your heart. I hope your feeling better, I think about you everyday with much love.
xxx lori

Gai said...

All of what you have written to accompany your illustration has been heart warming. The image compliments the quote sent by your papa. Yesterday here in Australia was fathers day and I searched out quotes to send from a daughter to a father. We have often shared verses such as you describe. They are special reminders of the relationship we have and cherish. As for blogging, wonderful to share the reasons why we do it.

kj said...

tessa, you know what i love about your paintings, besides the vibrant wonderful colors? i love the depth you create.

you are one of my very favorite artists, and not just on the blogs.

xoxo

Carol said...

I thought I had left a comment but it seems that it vanished!!

You father sounds like he was a wonderful man...what a fantastic quote to send to you (I couldn't agree with it more!!)

I started blogging when we moved from the UK to Thailand. I never, in a million years, expected to make friends through it but make friends I have...and my life is richer for it!!

C x

Dumdad said...

Great painting.

I agree with you on your take on blogging. I find I've written about episodes in my life and family life that I wouldn't do otherwise. And we DO forget snippets of our lives; it's fun sometimes to re-read a blogpost and remind ourselves of what we were doing.

And, perhaps, one day my children might want to read bits and pieces from the blog. Or perhaps not!

Anaka said...

And blogging is also a way of communicating with yourself. Much as in writing things down in a journal, blogging forces you to channel and articulate thoughts/ideas/ energies. But knowing that someone else is going to read it too makes you put in more effort into your writing. I learn from my own blogging as well as from reading others.
Thank you for blogging, I love reading your posts!

elizabethm said...

How did I miss this? I agree totally about blogging and love the connections it creates. Hope things are well with you.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

Your father sounds like a wise man. I love the Melville quote, and your point is well-taken, blogging is exactly that, a connection, a thousand invisible threads. I am relatively new to blogging and I have read many blogs lately where the blogger has confessed to having grown weary of the process. We must stay focused on why we blog, and you have written such a thought-provoking post here.

Linda Sue said...

Tessa, this is my absolute favorite, I realize i say that every time you post a work of art...I am correct every time- they are my favorites! I look at this one most often!
cheers!

Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy) said...

Tessa, I love your blog ... it is just stunning. Thanks so much for visiting and following mine. I look forward to spending more time here ....

Black Pete said...

These are very fine reasons to blog, and from I have seen thus far, I urge you to continue and continue.