Wednesday, November 3, 2010

DAY 29 – A Word of Thanks to Goethe

I was 14, and in 9th grade print shop class when Goethe first began his attempts to contact me. Another kid in class printed some business cards for his older brother. On them it simply said, “What you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it." ~ Goethe ~

I don’t know that I was that impressed with the quote, and I certainly couldn’t pronounce the guy’s name, but I remember that the type font was a cool italic.

I collected a sample of everything that got printed in class that year, that I liked. This card made the cut, and being the right size, was carried in my wallet for many years.

As the years rolled by, having learned of Goethe and this quote, I was more apt to recognize and attend to the glimpses of him and it as they would surface, at times very close at hand. Gradually, I felt that I better understood the quote; better knew it.

Two months ago, on the eve, so to speak, of starting to write this book, still apprehensive, OK fearful, and confused about what I was doing trying to get myself to write this book, Goethe contacted me again. This time it was his quote, pasted into a signature template in an e-mail from a person with whom I had little connection. He must have known that I still didn’t get the full meaning, the real energy of what he had been trying to tell me. So this time he provided me with a longer version, that leaves no doubt, even for the slow-learner like myself. And here is what he said…

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."
~ Goethe ~

As I read it, I felt sure, not just of what I was doing, but of the truth of his words that speak of the power of beginning, of beginning with commitment, and of magic!

I am writing the book, emboldened to have begun it; still a student of Goethe’s message.

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