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If we wish to change the person we find ourselves to be, we must change our thinking.

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NEVER FINISHED

November 20th, 2019

 

 

A brilliant professor once said “You never finish a piece of writing, you just stop working on it at some point.”

 

Creative pursuits of all types incur the problem of this paradox, that is: how much is just enough?

 

Go beyond and something becomes over written, cluttered, over painted, thinned out too much.  The issue is even more apparent with the sculptor of stone.  The whole goal is to take away just enough and no more, because none of the cleaved stone can ever be added back.

 

Perfection is an asymptote.  One that we can always continue to approach but never really ever touch.  It is a phantom, an illusion that embodies a paradox of luring us on while giving less and less the more we give.

 

The trick is to follow the phantom just far enough.  Perfection itself wants to be chased, and the creator likewise needs to find out how far they can go… how far they should go.

 

But we grow only by taming the chase with just enough play.  Knowing how to see when things are ripe, or just about to rot is a matter of skill as much as any artistic expression.

 

Our modern world constantly tells us to push farther, work harder, add more, and take whatever you want no matter the cost.

 

But this perspective is zero-sum.  It’s as though perfection were a living breathing thing to be hunted down.  But this is not the point. 

 

More and more we need games that we can play forever, games that we can pause at just the right moment, when the painting is just right, when the sculpture needs no more. Games that we can return to knowing there’s more to explore.


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Podcast Ep. 584: Never Finished

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