"What I achieve is not the product of an act of my will but of my will's surrender."
Pessoa, section 152 of The Factless Autobiography.
Though Pessoa sees surrendering as a sign of defeat and weakness, it leads to his salvation. By surrendering, he finds his voice.
Two of my friends told me about their gloom, one a young professional artist, distraught because she is in the midst of a dry spell and is beating herself up about it, even though she has done so much this past year; and the other, a middle aged writer with an MFA lamenting that she's afraid she's destined to be "just" a critic, who wants to write funny poignant essays like Meghan Daum, but is still searching for how to start.
I've been trying to notice resistance and trying to find the root. I often wonder, why pour energy into resisting what is most natural?
A tree pours all it's energy into creating beauty that nourishes it. Then the tree must let go of its creation and withdraw for a season. The tree that forces itself to bloom in winter does not survive.
And isn't a critic's most valuable job making connections between art works and movements in order to illuminate, to verbalize, to demonstrate a way of experiencing art? What is an opinion and why do we offer it? What are the connections between our opinions and our experiences? Why do we take opinions as absolutes, as reflections of truths, rather than reflections of personal narratives, emotions, biases?
It seems to me there's nothing "just" about that.