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Posts Tagged ‘Andre Gide’

GC Myers- Archaeology-Rainbows EndThe thing I am most aware of is my limits. And this is natural; for I never, or almost never, occupy the middle of my cage; my whole being surges toward the bars.

–Andre Gide

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I chose this week’s  quote from the late French author Andre Gide, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1947, because as an artist I find myself sometimes wondering about my limits, questioning whether I am pushing myself enough into new territory.  Gide uses a cage in his metaphor with his limitations being the bars that keep him from moving forward.  He is not content to simply accept these limits sitting contentedly in the center of his cage. No, he is always pushing and pulling at the bars, seeking to get past them.

In the past, I have expressed this same desire to press past my limits with a metaphor where the artist climbs ever upward until they come to a plateau where they are comfortable and safe.  It is a place where they could easily live out the remainder of their days with little worry, living an easy life by retelling stories that made up the journey up to this point.  Many might not even notice there is still a mountain hovering above them to climb, if they just dare leave the comfort of the easy plateau.

Gide’s cage is my plateau and while he is trying to break through his bars, I find myself still questioning if I have the nerve to start climbing.  Oh, there are first steps, tentative meanders up the path but only far enough that I am within sight and  can return easily to my safe haven on the plateau.

When does the real trek upward begin?  When does one begin to thrash at their bars?

Where are you in your own cage?

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I used a painting from several years,  Archaeology: Rainbow’s End, to illustrate this post.  For one thing, I just like this image.  But more importantly, looking at it seemed to remind me that one’s creative past is often buried and gone from sight.  Or at least, should be if one is going to continue growing.  Like the tree in the painting, you grow from that past existence  being nourished by it.  But you don’t live only in that past.  You must move upward like the Red Tree in this painting to find clear air.

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