Saturday, October 23, 2021

The Fighting Spirit


I took this photo of my dad a couple of years ago.  He was a younger man--probably only 90 at the time.  I wanted to record the day he went to the town hall to go to battle for the woods in his little Connecticut community.  He was one of the people in town who had posted signs saying  "Save the Woods!" on their front lawn.  In fact, he gave a little speech at the town hall meeting and his photograph was in the newspaper.  It was a proud moment for a man who says that since he's Irish, he's a Druid and has always been a friend of the trees.  He loves his trees!  (And so do I.)

 But as it turns out, the community lost the battle and a development of big spanking new houses went up in the woods behind his house.  Truthfully, they're not that bad--but my Dad always looks out at his backyard and shakes his head in dismay, sad for the loss of all that wild nature--all those trees and tree spirits, tangled vines and wild rabbits, squirrels and deer, and birds.  So many birds!

Today, my dad is fighting a new battle.  Everyday he fights for the use of his legs, for his ability to do and think and stay on this planet for a little longer--because after all, this is a man with plans!

Everyday is a small battle, a small defeat, and a small triumph.

But no matter what, this is the man who never gives up.

I believe this fighting spirit is very similar to the creative spirit.  We fight for our project--our novel, our painting, our music, our dance--but the truth is--it will always be a losing battle.  And this is because our artistic efforts will never work out exactly the way we envisioned.  Things will always be different.  Our work will never be perfect.  And you know what--this is how it should be.  This imperfection will keep you going, fighting, trying to reach this vision that will always remain just beyond your grasp.  

All this will make you resilient.  Just like my father.

Dear friends, for this week--your creative prompt is to go to battle for your work and embrace your fighting spirit. 




  1. Jamie, This is so very inspirational to me - I am 71 years old and have waited so long to show the world my art because I always thought it should be better, AND it can be! But, with painting, as with any art or sport, etc. there is always the "next level" to aspire to and that is part of the joy! The "vision just beyond your grasp is the proverbial carrot!! Thank you for telling us all about your Dad and who he is - wish I could have one more day with my own...

    1. Dear Mary--
      Thank you so much for your sweet note! I so agree with you "there is always the next level to aspire to and that is part of the joy!" I am honored to know I've inspired you. Letters like yours keep me going! Love, Jamie

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