Wings

Here is what art looks like: A small child, a little girl, was inspired to create wings. All by herself, she gathered together construction paper, scissors, and scotch tape. The child is mine. I learned about her project and her vision only after she finished the work and came upstairs to show me, paper straps affixing paper flaps to both of her arms.

Whether these wings will fly is not the point. (They will not.) Whether they resemble your own mental picture of “wings” is not the point. (They almost certainly don’t.) Instead, the point is this: She was given a gift—a particular possibility just for her, delivered into her head and onto her heart from out of the treasure trove from which inspiration comes. In response to the gift, she...

Marshaled her limited abilities.

Took hold of the resources she had available.

Did the very best she could to make her vision real.

Displayed the finished work, lifting it up for her father to see.

If you have been given a similar gift, can you think of a way to proceed that makes more sense than this? For the vision that your heart and head have been carrying, can you think of any other set of responses that stand a better chance of ensuring that this gift lives as a joy instead of being carried as a weight?