My Masterpiece


I recently came across a meme attributed to ‘Sarah Bush’ that read, “It is possible to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress.”

I loved the images those words conjured and they’ve rattled about in my head over the past week. I’ve always liked the analogy of being incomplete, imperfect and working towards an improved version, but I’ve never thought of myself as a masterpiece. Until now.

Sure, I can do with some scraping back and reworking; greater depth in some areas and toning down in others. My veneer may be a little cracked and my canvas fraying here and there, but I’m sure someone could look at me, and despite my lack of completion, see my real worth.

Have you ever admired a picture, a sculpture, or even a cake being decorated, only to have the artist say, “Oh, it’s not finished yet.” Or have you complimented someone on the taste of a meal they’ve made, only to hear them say, “Oh, I had to make do with the ingredients on hand” or, “It really needed to simmer a little longer.”

To some extent each is a work in progress, but we already see the masterpiece. We see the value that already exists. The beauty, the skill, the discipline – the composition is remarkable just as it is.

Many of us feel the pressure to be something more, someone better; always looking at our potential without fully appreciating the gift we are right now. Instead of working toward a place of value, what if we learned to live from a place where value already exists?

To truly understand that about ourselves, would remove the burden to be more. And perhaps, we could be content to just be.

Each of us are masterpieces. We are a tangible expression of uniquely blended experiences; an installation that tells a tale of courage, struggle and hope; an illustration of what happens when oils and water collide – a beautiful chaos – magnificent in every light.

Before we set pen to paper, we have thoughts circling.

Before we speak, we have something to say and,

Before we even create, we are creative.

Although there is joy in completing a project, many artists paint for the sake of painting. They practice and improve, experiment and immerse themselves in the process. We can learn a lot from that.

Enjoy the process. Acknowledge the beauty of your thick solid lines, your sketchy patches and your bold hues. Find value in the layers that have already been applied and run your hand lovingly across the texture they’ve produced. Look in the mirror and treasure the masterpiece you see. Unfinished yes, but a masterpiece none-the-less.


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