To the Artist with the Broken Wing

As Classes for this Semester come to completion, and the Season of Commencement is upon us, I offer this in honor of my students, past, present, and future. Perhaps it will speak to the Artist in each of us…

Be not afraid.
You are Safe.
Your time here is short — briefer even than we think.
This World is not made to sustain ethereal Souls such as yourself for too long
Perhaps you are from another ether and must return there;
Perhaps the oxygen here cannot sustain your delicate lungs long-term.
Either way, you must get to work.
You mustn’t dawdle.
Mustn’t stravage.
Do what you are here to do.
You must Begin!

When someone arrives with a precious Gift such as yours,

‘Tis often accompanied by the arrogant assumption that such a thing is forever,
with the Youth and Strength that it takes to get your message across.
But Age blankets us all too quickly
And we learn the frailties of human form and function
How everlastingly ephemeral…
How quickly it passes!
The trajectory of time as it appears some twenty years after Birth —
An Infinity so different from one’s vantage point twenty years before Death.
I guess the road back always seems shorter than getting there without a Map.
Enjoy the Voyage!
Such a Beautiful Journey!

And your attitude — the edge — Drop it.
I get it.
As long as you are young and physically fit, everyone thinks it’s cool to sneer.
But it’s not.
It makes a mockery of your Glorious Vulnerability.
It lays waste with your Wholeness and the Artist you are capable of Being.
A creature as delicate and ephemeral as yourself, obviously feels the need to put up defenses.
It feels safer somehow to ignore what others have to teach you
But then how will you Grow?
You do more than one thing.
People so often object to this.
Unable to take it in,
They insist that you choose a Box in which they may place you.
One Box.
Fuck ‘em!
You can do All the things you want!
You can be ANYthing and EVERYthing you want to be.
Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can’t be an Artist
and an Actor
and a Sculptor
and a Musician
and a Writer
and a Painter
and a Spouse
and a Parent
and a Choreographer
and a Chef
and Maybe even Something Else to Further Support your Artistic Pursuits,
and remain a Beautiful Child
plus a Hundred Thousand Other Things as Well.
It is your Life!
And if their mind is too small to keep track of your MultiFaceted Magic,
Leave them behind.
Do not in any way allow the limits of their opinions to stymie the boundless reach of your Unique Creative Expression.

Reach Out!
Extend Further!
Do More!
Do it Again!
Express Your Heart!
Exceed YourSelf!
Emancipate Your Soul’s Glory!
Make your mark as only you can figure it out
And from that you will learn How to make more!
Make More!
But do not allow yourself to become bitter internalizing the uninvited Judgements of others.

Your Beauty is not often found on this planet.
You are like a flower of brightest purple stumbled upon in a verdant field of grass.
It is easier to write you off as a weed
That would, at least, be explainable.
We have seen dandelions before — never a purple one — but we have seen them,
So we know how to catalogue them in our mind.
But if we take you in for what you truly are…
Such a bright and beautiful purple flower — in the midst of no other like it,
then what did we do to deserve this?
And so we mere mortals — we step on you, walk away and call you a weed.

Do not stay down.
You must Rise Again.
We have all been stepped on many times.
We have all had to Rise
Having more reason to do so carries with it that you are also by nature more delicate,
Thus it may be more difficult for you.
Ironic — the more fragile you are, the more important it is for you to get up again.
The more ephemeral, the more this World passionately cries for your Gift.
But there you are.

Stand Up!
Stand Up!
Stand Up!
And once you have conquered the discomfort of standing up for yourself,
Stand Up for Others!
Stand Up for those without a Voice!
Stand Up Again!
It may feel wildly uncomfortable, but once you have proven to yourself that you can Stand,
Then Stand
For the Standing is well worth the cost of your discomfort.
Nurture your Courage!
Claim your Freedom!
Raise your Voice!
Do not assume anyone else has your Gifts!
No one else has your Wings,
So even knowing the pain of Brokenness,

I cannot Heal your Broken Wing
For you need it.
It is a part of your Story, a Story for which the World Very Much Thirsts.
This Broken World is unlikely to be healed by those who have not known Struggle.
The World itself is in a Struggle for its very identity, Now.
You who also Struggle are precisely the Healer we require.
Only a Higher Being,
Also Broken,
Can meet us at the Starting Place of our Healing Journey.

Fear is the only nemesis that can stop you now.
Do not underestimate Fear — it is Powerful.
But if you stay True
True to your Mission
True to what you came here to Do
True to the Work…
Then you shall make the Miracles of which, deep inside, you know you are Capable.

Just do the Work.
That is the Secret.
Inhibit the desire to Judge it.
Inhibit the propensity to Devalue yourself.
Quell the Unanswerable Questions of How it is all to happen.
Just do the Work!
Show Up for your Life.
That is how you will make the Miracle of your Life Occur.
Just do the Work!
Then the Muse can Visit.

It may not appear in the form you expect.
It may not pass the test of any ways you might know to evaluate it.
It may not produce a vast Income
Nor an iota of celebrity
Perhaps it cannot be measured at all by the standards of this World.
Fear Not.
Fear Not!
It is not of this World and frankly, Neither are You!
Its Value may only be able to be seen by others of this World after you have departed.
Doesn’t Matter.
It only Matters that You Give what you have to Give
Fully and Without Reserve.
Then, Let Go.

Just do the Work!
Put in the Ten Thousand Hours!
Show up for your Life!
Beautiful Beautiful You with your Magnificent Broken Wing,
Trust what you have to Offer.
Pay Attention.
Tell the Truth.
Let Go of the Result.
Awaken Now!
Do the Work!
Show Up for your Life!

No one else has your Wings,
No one else can do what you can do,
So even knowing the pain of Brokenness,
The Great Work Begins.# # #

Leave a comment


  1. mrdamonb

     /  May 7, 2018

    This would make an excellent graduation speech, dear Arnold! Keep up the great, inspiring work! PS I LOVE the inclusion of your original artwork too! #graduation #commencement #commencementaddress

  2. Michael Walters

     /  May 7, 2018

    Hi Honey, I LOVE this!!!!! I have always LOVED your pencil crayon artwork, but paired here with your WORDS is so powerful and UNIQUE – I think you may have stumbled on to somethin’ here!!! xoxoxo


    • Thanx, MIKEY! I am just opening and opening to whatever the next right thing is… At some point, we may Live to see it all come together! So Grateful for your Support! XXOO

  3. Asha

     /  July 15, 2018

    Arnold!!!! I don’t know how I stumbled upset n this post, but I did. And I do know: my heart led me here to read this now. We rise and rise and rise again. Broken wing and all. Not in spite of our brokenness, but because of it. These are currently the most beautyfull words I’ve ever read … reminding the broken winged ones to fly. Thank you!!! 🙏

    • Ah, Dear ASHA! Thank You for your visit here and for your kind words! They mean so very much to me! So Grateful for your Beautiful Spirit! Namaste! XXOO


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