Sunday, September 30, 2012


It is smarter to borrow from nature than to reinvent the wheel.

Philip Emeagwali
Hello Val
It's Autumn and the leaves will soon be changing color. I happened to remark about that to someone today who told me that the leaves around here are still fecund and green. I needed that information because where I live there are no trees. I have to walk several blocks in order to see a tree.

One afternoon years ago I was speaking with a young actor who was seeking my advice as one who he thought was wiser. That was a moot point, but I assayed to give him some of my observations.

I told him that all art is indissolubly tied to nature. I said that an artist of any discipline must be knowledgeable about the laws of nature and know how to obey them. Even an actor. Or most especially an actor. He replied that he didn't understand.

We were sitting at the edge of a tree lined field. It was October. The trees were ablaze with colors and the ground was covered with leaves. I picked up one particularly beautiful leaf, with streaks of red, yellow and amber and with a touch of green at the base. I showed it to him. I said "In order to be an artist you have to be able to create something as beautiful as this leaf, Nature does it by the gezillions every year and then just throws them away."

There are an infinite number of voices in nature for the artist to hear. The sights and sounds of the forests and meadows, the flight of a bird, the distant mountain peak, the energy of the waves as the tide comes in, the flutter of a moth, the path of the lightening bolt, the song of the cricket, the taste of an apple, the feel of the snow.

Those few examples are just the merest number of gifts nature has to fuel an artist's imagination whatever medium he works in. The older I get and the more I work the more I realize the riches of nature for me and everyone. Some of them have even prompted this journal entry..

Go ahead, reinvent the wheel if you want to. I will take the long walk to the tree.

D. Bate - Vagabond Journeys No. 1,893
Never Give Up

1 comment:

Ken Riches said...

I love the change of seasons, but hate the cold the comes after...