… And work. Spell it in capital letters. WORK. WORK all the time. Find out about this earth, this universe; this force and matter, and the spirit that glimmers up through force and matter from the maggot to Godhead. And by all this I mean WORK for a philosophy of life. It does not hurt how wrong your philosophy of life may be, so long as you have one and have it well.
– Jack London
“Who are you, Martin Eden? he demanded of himself in the looking-glass, that night when he got back to his room. He gazed at himself long and curiously. Who are you? What are you? Where do you belong?” – Jack London (Martin Eden)
You belong with the legions of toil that must grub in the dirt for the sixpence. You belong with the legions that dare lift their eyes to contemplate the moon to substitute food for the dance of imagination. You belong with the vulgar and with the spirited being what carries the tinge of heaven in a smile.
You belong with all that is hard, low and unbeautiful, yet you dare live with the stars and make stardust trails. You belong by rights with the legions of strive, nevertheless in one corner of the mind there is an inverted eye that yearns for the lunarian shape-shifting beauty.
You belong by rights to creativity and labor. Creativity is vision or as Samuel Butler vanguardly put (almost two centuries ago): “When a man is in doubt about this or that in his writing, it will often guide him if he asks himself how it will tell a hundred years hence.”
Creativity is strategy. Strategy must vary as does the moon.
We are not so busy looking at the moon that we do not see the sixpence at our feet. Nor are we so engulfed in drudge that we do not see the sky. We’d better see the moon and the sixpence all at once. Our dreams and our toils should answer all our questions in the change of crescents to vanishing waning moons.