This story is not so very old; it happened only some 150 years ago.
A boy was born; and as it is with boys, he was expected to take up a manly occupation. Moreover, this boy was the eldest of his family’s children, and in those times that made his role in life quite clear. He was supposed to become a priest or a teacher. But the boy wished neither to teach nor to preach. From the time he was a small child, he was melancholic and shy; people around him often labelled him a “weirdo”.
This weird boy liked painting; and he liked painting in his own way, which was different from the ways of the great painters of old times. When painting, he felt that the brush strokes he was making were not entirely his work. He felt that in those moments a new, unknown force was entering the process. Not a muse or inspiration; those come before the act of creation. This was an unknown energy, perhaps an entity, which seemed sometimes to be steering his hand.
Because he personally experienced all this and was part of the miracle of being helped from above, he was firmly convinced that his paintings must be discovered by the world; not only that, but also that they must be respected, even loved. He simply knew it.
Except, the world did not know it at all. Vincent presented his paintings to people passionately, even exhibiting signs of madness, but people just brushed Vincent aside. Since he was generally known as a weirdo, a lunatic who decided to become a painter, he played the game of appearing to be just that. And instead of serious work, he slept during the day and sketched at night.
Every-now-and-then, the landlady pitied him and gave him something to eat and drink, in exchange for a painting, which she always threw in the corner of her storage room. She did not care about the paintings; she just felt sorry for Vincent and did not want him to feel even more humiliated by her feeding him for free.
And the more the painter tried to point out the genius of his work, the more people laughed at him, the more they disdained him: everyone, most of all the cream of the artists. The painter waited for a revelation and for the respect that he was convinced his works deserved. The longer he waited, the more furiously he created, and the sadder his works became. He expressed his feelings in them, and hoped that when the public saw the despair concealed in his pictures, their quality would be understood and appreciated. However, none of that happened.
Towards the end of his life, the painter barely ate and slept; he just painted. He painted pictures with almost inhuman passion, and with each new unappreciated painting, his despair grew. It grew to such a level that he voluntarily went to live in a sanatorium for the mentally ill. Finally, a year later and while still in the sanatorium, he killed himself.
Eleven years after his death, the first exhibition of his works was held in Paris. At last, Vincent van Gogh was revealed.
While you are creating, you may also know that what you are doing is master work, which should be introduced to the world. You may know it has a great value that no one other than yourself has seen. You stood at its birth; the perfection of the Universe has passed through your hands, which have expressed something that can be captured only by the arts.
Maybe, just like Vincent, you try hard for the world to see the perfection of your work. And, therefore, maybe the life of van Gogh can be a wonderful inspiration for you – he knew the value he created, but he was totally alone. The awareness of “unfairness” and the world’s blindness led him to the edge of madness, eventually beyond it. Just imagine what works he could have created had he become reconciled with the fact that the world was blind. If he had just abandoned his wish to open the world’s eyes and to prove the contribution he made to it! Just imagine what his works would have been like without the addition of despair and sadness at the end of his life. Just imagine how long and rich his life could have been without the fury the world’s blindness caused him.
You, too, have a chance to decide how to receive the world’s ignorance in any sphere of your life. You already know that you are right and that your deeds have an extraordinary value. Is it worth it to sacrifice your happiness to strive for recognition? Or rather, is it not better to enjoy the sweet mystery of creating something that, if once revealed by the world, will have an immeasurable value for humankind, not only for you? Just like a mother enshrining a child in her womb – she knows it is there, the world does not need to. And the child will find the right time and circumstances at which it should come to the world. The creation of a work is just its conception. The birth happens when it is revealed by the “world”.
You know that you have facilitated the conception, dear Soul. Allow the child to be born in love and peace…
„Dear Soul, I give you everything for free. By supporting me you won’t buy anything more. Although, you will support Letters to Soul to inspire other people. You will also support the experience of me becoming a writer. Thank you."