Thursday, April 14, 2016
The other day, I posted a video of Jim Neighbors singing “The Impossible Dream”, the soaring anthem from Man of la Mancha, and got many responses, most of them from artists. It got me thinking…. Why did it resonate so clearly with those with an artistic bent?
Aren’t we, as artists, whether painters, musicians, authors, or performers, chasing that “impossible dream”? A dream of perfection? The allure of exceptional beauty? The grace of the best we can give?
Is excellence our “quest” and art our “star”? Do we see art as a “heavenly cause”? Do we feel a curious peace when our work is its best? And one only need read Kiplings’ poem “When Earth’s Last Picture Is Painted” to understand how artists relate to the line, “…lie peaceful and calm when I’m laid to my rest.”
Something inspires that “quest to follow that star” to try to do the impossible. Something gives artists courage to persist and keeps our “heart striving upward”.
Perhaps, buried in our subconscious, we connected with the contrast between the bumbling, self-conscious character of Gomer Pyle and the hard-earned ease and magnificent talent of Jim Neighbors’ performance. All artists are faced with uncertainty and doubt, but sometimes, in the midst of the long struggle - and if we are lucky - we feel God take our hand and we create something otherwise unreachable.
Continue the quest. We will “make the world better for this”.