Today’s Word: ‘inside’ as in… it’s all about knowing what’s inside.
In the fall of 2017, Nancy Lee and I traveled to the beautiful, creative city of Florence, Italy. As we walked through the streets of this ancient, mythically powerful city, I recalled the story of a little boy who lived in this city known for musicians, poets, painters and stonecutters.
On his way to school each morning he would wander past the studio of a young painter and sculptor whom the world would eventually come to know simply as Michelangelo. On an early spring morning, the little boy stood at the studio doorway and peered into the cluttered workspace. There, to his great wonder and curiosity, on the floor in the middle of the room was an enormous block of marble. Fascinated, he slowly pushed the door open and quietly eased himself into the room. From his vantage point he watched the artist walking slowly around the tons of raw stone, touching the ridges and edges, eyeing the indistinct shapes, making notes and drawing small charcoal images on a tablet of paper. Over the next several weeks, the little boy visited from time to time, wondering what the artist was up to as he stood thoughtful and brooding before this massive stone.
Summer arrived, and the little boy was away on holiday with his family. Months passed. Finally, one autumn afternoon back in Florence, the little boy was on his way home from school when he walked down a familiar side street to the artist’s studio. Standing in the doorway of the studio, he could hardly believe his own eyes. There, on the floor in the middle of the room, where the once massive block of marble rested without any distinct shape, was a magnificently carved lion. Overcome with wonder and awe, he burst into the studio, ran to the artist standing nearby, and asked, “How did you know the lion was inside that stone?”
It seems to me that a significant part of the wonder of creativity is just that: “Knowing what’s inside…”
But how? How do we know what’s inside?