Do not depend on the hope of results…you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to that you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.

Thomas Merton


Thank you to Beth Cioffoletti for posting this quote on her Thomas Merton blog, Louie Louie, originally written about apostolic work. But his wisdom applies profoundly to art making and the state of mind that makes it possible for great work to come through. It’s so easy to get seduced by results, by the concept of completion. I have to step away again and again from the spectre of a finished piece and bring the focus back to the making. It’s a way of keeping your head down, in all its many meanings.