Perseverance. One foot in front of another,
The best image that comes to my (geeky) mind is of Frodo and Sam on the slopes of Mt Doom. Frodo goes as far as he can and when he can't go any further, Sam picks him up and without knowing how he is able, he perseveres. One foot in front of another.
And thus a journey is made.
Perseverance has rewards, but the middle and especially the part right near the destination, can be a slog.
Doubt bursts in and starts making a lot of noise. Doubt tries to get us to give up, to see that there's no point, that we're going to fail anyway, why not end the pain now? (Doubt is a real downer.)
But the point? Is that there is no point except in the doing. If something matters to us, then we will do it.
Perseverance gets us through a lot of things (life, work, art).
And luckily for us, our projects and our lives aren't as Middle-earth shattering as Frodo's quest.
No, in our daily lives perseverance looks more like walking sixteen blocks home from a party carrying a very-overwhelmed five year old. One foot in front of another, wondering how you're going to carry 52 pounds the entire way, but somehow you manage because love and kindness matters.
Perseverance looks like continuing to take photographs (and grow and challenge yourself) even when you feel like giving up and don't know why you're going down this path at all and maybe you should just quit because any damn fool can point a camera at a fucking leaf. But they don't. And so you don't quit because you remember that your voice, your story in this world does matter.
Perseverance means continuing to blog every day (except Saturday and the very occasional mental health day off) even when you can't see the point anymore and "it's not a real job, anyway." But you continue anyway because it isn't about stats and making money, it's about sharing your story and your voice and that's what you're doing, even on the days when you have to stare at the screen for a few minutes, waiting to figure out what to write.
Perseverance means taking care of things, even when it's hard.
I think the one thing I disagree with Samuel Johnson about here ("Great works are performed not through strength but through perseverance.") is that perseverance is a strength. It's the only strength, actually. It's the strength of water cutting through rock, year after year through the eons and making a canyon so deep that people go there on vacation just to look into the depths.
We pick our battles (if we're wise). What we choose to continue says more about us than maybe we know.
And instead of slogging along, we can dance. Like water flowing down a channel, we can dance through our lives, flowing into grace and love and persevering for the joy of it in the here and now.
Yes, let's dance.