The grain in every piece of wood is unique, it tells a story about the life of the tree, its botanical structure and heritage, how it grew, the external forces it has experienced, and the wounds it has endured and overcome.
I was sorting through photos and came across this close up shot from a wedding we did and the beauty of the wood grain captured my attention.
Take a moment a look for the story in it's patterns and textures.
As I reflected on the story it told I recalled the saying "going against the grain" and wondered what it really meant. Interestingly, it is believed to have originated from the writings of Shakespeare, and is generally understood as going "against one's inclination or natural tendency."(1) .
So often we find ourselves working against our natural inclinations, don't you wonder why? I think this is particularly relevant for creatives. The passion, emotional vulnerability, and empathy that is inherent in many artists is a bit of a double edged sword. . . it drives our creativity while simultaneously opening us up to self doubt.
What if. . . we didn't listen to the self doubt.
What if. . .we saw it differently.
All the forces that create the grain, the story our lives tell, combine into the energy that we use to live that story. We are more than our heritage, more than our biological structure, stronger than the external forces and wounds we experience. We can grow and adapt, using all of the energy created by these forces to go with the grain.