The Pen: A lesson


From the ‘Code of the Samurai, A Modern Translation of the Bushido Shoshinshu of Taira Shigesuke.’  By Thomas Cleary.  Chapter entitled, ‘Fame.’ 

“For those who died ignominiously and those who died gloriously, the pain when they handed their heads to the enemy was no different…[I]f you are going to have to give your life anyway, you may as well die heroically, startling enemies and allies alike, regretted by employers and commanders, an honor to your posterity for all time.”

We are soldiers, every single one of us. Whether our uniforms are for work or casual, comfortable or not, or for sport or battle, we are fighters. Every day is a battle, and life is hell; that is, war.

Books of conduct in any era is dated as soon as it goes into specifics, but it is the cliched advice that is the best because it is simplest. Never lose faith in yourself. You fight alone but you do not battle alone. Make your word your bond. Don’t take more than you can handle. Prepare for battle but prefer to have peace. Respect your loved ones.

So for my warriors of art and spirit, do your best. Get up in the morning with a mindset of conquering another square footage of Work. Steel yourself more than anyone you know. Guard what you have, but know that it is worthless. Fight tooth and nail to collect more Truth and show more Beauty.  There is no one else who can do what you do, no one in history.  The enemy is you but the savior is you.  Burn hotter and brighter, with a relentlessly fed passion, every day you work and never let that flame go out, since, when it does, you die.

You are a warrior of the soul. Your sword and armor you make yourself. You battle smoke and shadows. Your art is futile. You study god in a godless world.

You are ready.

Now go.

Create and Complete.


2 thoughts on “The Pen: A lesson

  1. The pen: A lesson.
    I like what I read. The words are challenging, but soothing, too. Noting that we fight alone, but we are part of a universe that we walk through together.


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