There is a quote by Primo Levi, that I first encountered in Into the Wild (2007).
It goes like this, “The sea’s only gifts are harsh blows, and, occasionally, the chance to feel strong. Now, I don’t know much about the sea, but I do know that that’s the way it is here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing the blind, deaf stone alone with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head.”
This quote has been weighing on my mind for a while now. It to speaks of the abilities people have. The abilities that we as human beings, praise each other above everything else. This idea that there are things to which we can ascribe ourselves as being great at. For sometime I have been told that what I write is incredibly good and that I “Have something there.”
But, to me, I personally wish something to be measured against, an idea or a person, or an example to which I can set myself against and truly see where I stand.
Perhaps in hindsight, I seem to be whining of positive praise that people give me. Do not mistake me, I relish praise, it is the self-recognition that drives my soul to creative heights. Yet soaring so high up, one can but wonder just how truly meaningful that praise is? How one can measure and grow from nothing but praise, rather than criticism?
I do not distrust my praise, no no, i merely question the authenticity of my own ability through people’s eyes. In the same way, so do I ask you out there. Do you not ever wonder how talented you truly are? Where you are constantly told something, only to be faced with reality and disappointment of the so called “real world”.
All I merely ask, is exactly that which is stated, to measure myself against the blind, deaf stone, with merely my hand and head to guide me. To be able to ascertain my existence through my creativity and livelihood. That inexplicable, undeniable taste of freedom dripped from the lips of critical minds who shout, or whisper, neither hate nor caustic statements towards my work. But rather constructive, astute ideas and critiques of someone who likes to think about words and moments, that flit inside his head.
So now I ask you, perhaps you do not know me? Perhaps this is all but an empty attempt at signifying an immeasurable idea? But try as i might, this post signifies approval and disdain in it. For it shows weakness and courage in equal measure and in that, for me, by myself, I find some solace in the creativity that helps me bring these words to you, reader.