Don't Shine Too Much Or You'll Scare People
On page 65 of the June 23 "New Yorker," I saw the most marvelous cartoon:
A managerial type in a suit stood by a guy's desk, addressing him. The guy, who sat at the desk was a pure sunburst, other than his glasses, nose, smile, tie and arms. The caption read: "Take my advice, Roberts, and hide your light under a bushel."
Tonight, a Montclair friend read a passage from a book I own and need to read all the way through, The Art Spirit, by Robert Henri.
It was about how artists can be scary. I couldn't find the book when I hunted for it just now and instead, found Harry Mathews' 20 Lines a Day. He was inspired to write the book by something Stendhal wrote,"Vingt lignes par jour, genie ou pas" ("Twenty lines a day, genius or not.")
My copy of 20 Lines a Day was a gift from an ex-girlfriend, who was trying to encourage me to write; this was in 1989 and she inscribed the book:
You have much to give but require the discipline to accomplish your...goals. You should not at all feel bad that you lack the discipline....You will find the tools and you will utilize them. You will affect the course of lives of others through your ideas and philosophies. You have to be strong enough to share them....