Friday, 17 September 2010

Please Bring Your Own Spade.

There are every now and then days when you make a little step forward and you just know that it was a significant moment. More than once, fellow bloggers have said to me that if I stopped worrying about painters block it would just one day disappear. They were right, but nothing ever just happens in life we have to make it happen.

I remember being visited once by a young man while I was a minister. He had fallen on hard times, some of which was of his own making. He was an angry young man that morning. It was a Friday morning; I was in the study in the church building, doing preparation for the sermons I would preach on the Sunday. He was blaming everybody for the ills of his life. He said, “I joined this church because you said faith moved mountains.” I got up walked past him opened the door, looked out and then gently closed it again. I sat opposite him and said, “I notice you did not bring your spade.” I told him that faith could move mountains but you have to bring your own spade. I also pointed out that he had blamed almost everybody for his ills, except the most important person of all, himself.

It did change his life. I could almost see the penny drop.

I remember a day when I was out walking with my father. I cannot remember how the conversation had got to where it was, but I had made a comment about doing things to the best of my ability. He went on to tell me that he thought that was good. He then said, “When you do something the first time, do it to the best of your ability. The second time you do it, do it just a little bit better.” What he was saying was in fact go the extra mile.

My old Grandmother was the font of wisdom. I often wonder what she might have become in life had she not lived during a war in which her husband was killed. She one day told me something I have never forgotten. She said, "In life there are those who work all day, those who dream all day, and those who spend an hour dreaming before setting to work to fulfil those dreams. Go into the third category because there's virtually no competition".

I am so grateful for yesterday. For all of those who took the time to get in touch with me. Those who wrote comments; and those who emailed me. Those who challenged me to try other things. On my other blog today I will post another attempt at the Jackie drawing and make further comment there.

Jerry is so correct. Blogging is a marvellous place and together we could achieve so much. Artists have never before had such an opportunity to share. Can you imagine what impressionism might have been like if they had the world of blogging to share their message?

Oh, the picture at the top of this blog is just there for a laugh. Feel free to do so. This was me just about the time I was having that conversation I have related above.

Please do go and read my other blog.  Its Jackie Again


  1. Well just look at all that hair Ralph,, I think it was Hippie time... That might just give me the courage to post an old one of me . Your blog today , your grandmothers words are something I will remember , (if its not too late for me) !

  2. I love this Grandma what a smart lady she was.
    And you? did not change at all.
    Happy weekend!

  3. Good Morning Ralph, I am feeling stronger by the day. Artists are isolated, we work in our little spaces by ourselves in quiet solitude and we like it that way. Blogging offers us an opportunity to expand our horizons, instantly acquire another's oppinion, share our thoughts, and fears if we are honest. We can "bash ideas around", gain inspiration and learn from others.
    Your blog is always inspirational and through your stories and Taoisms (is that a word?) you have discovered a very gentle way to get us to refocus our lives. I admit that sometimes I bring a bulldozer (earthmover) when a spade would have been adequate! Today will be a great day.

  4. Well I'm with you Jerry; sometimes a spade just takes too long!
    Blogging with artists and seeing what they are doing is indeed fun.
    However I think it would be wonderful to share studio space with some of our 'blogger artists'. Think of the instant rapport, the ideas!

    Have a great weekend

  5. Thanks, Ruby and what a wonderful thought, exchanging our studios! That could be fun! Mine's
    plenty big for a lot of us at the same time. There are photos of it on my ArtWanted site.

  6. Three messages today, Ralph, is there a limit?
    You have inspired me to resurrect by old Blog on this system! So now if someone clicks my photo they can find my current thoughts! Sometimes I will want to link to your blog so people can easily find it. My problem is I am computer illiterate so I( need some help!!! How do I do this? "The more you know, the more you know!"