Artists Are Little Princes Caring For Fancy Red Roses

The Little Prince and His Rose

During his adventures on Earth, the little prince discovered a garden abloom with 5,000 roses. He was startled, because he realized that the fancy rose he had left behind on his faraway planet, the rose he had looked after with so much devotion, was not a unique flower. So he lay down in the grass and wept.

But later the little prince was comforted, because the fox told him:

‘It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.’

*

I don’t think the little prince wasted his time looking after that rose, even if she had four thorns and was quite vain. As Bertrand, a friend of mine, puts it:

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

The same  is true for writing a novel, or painting a portrait, or building a house of cards… If you enjoyed working on it, you will never regret the time you devoted to it even if the book doesn’t sell, or the portrait is badly received, or the house of cards collapses… You will be sad, and weep, and maybe think of changing your trade, but you will not regret.

Writing a novel seems to some like a good way to waste time. Sometimes it’s difficult to explain to others around you – even to family – that words on a computer screen or ink on white paper are much more than they seem.

Painters can show their unfinished canvas, and if it is colorful, it might pacify some of their naysayers. But writers don’t have much to show until all their story is written. Telling a person not interested in books ‘I’ve written 5,000 words so far,’ means to them the same as ‘I’ve written 50,000 words so far,’ that is to say not much.

Things are even harder for me because I write in English, which nobody around me understands.

But writing a book – or creating any kind of art – changes you inside. It helps you understand more profoundly your thoughts and emotions, as well as the world around you, and it provides much needed emotional relief, and often it also helps you see your life from a different perspective, which is sometimes necessary before you can make changes.

To me those are the true rewards of writing. The publishing, the fame, the money, the immortality, are all bonuses. They may or may not come, depending on Fortune’s whims.

*

The wise fox in The Little Prince says:

‘It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.’

Artists, by creating stories, whether on paper, canvas, or piano, learn how to  see better with their hearts.

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39 thoughts on “Artists Are Little Princes Caring For Fancy Red Roses

  1. Interesting that you say,”because I write in English, which nobody around me understands”…Perhaps sharing some of your writings with them in their language, they will understand. Your writings are thought provoking, good and definitely not a waste of time!

  2. Well, this post must be one of my favorites…

    About the last sentence “Artists, by creating stories, whether on paper, canvas, or piano, learn to how see with their hearts”, I believe artists already see things invisible to others that’s why they create. Not the other way around… So I would rather say that about non-artists. All though I truly believe everyone is an artist. Some just may not have had as much luck to find out as others…
    Anyone who can love is an artist for love is pure art seen only with the heart.

    1. This post was written a bit in haste, and the typo in the last sentence is proof of that. 🙂

      I agree with you. I changed the sentence a little to reflect more what I meant to say.

          1. Unless it is a heavy hat or extremely high winds and the person has hot coffee. My point is there are risks with anything in life, but do risks stop us from doing things or having things we like?

  3. “But writing a book – or creating any kind of art – changes you inside. It helps you understand more profoundly your thoughts and emotions, as well as the world around you, and it provides much needed emotional relief, and often it also helps you see your life from a different perspective, which is sometimes necessary before you can make changes.” — yes.

  4. I think I said it before but how can one so young be so insightful? I think you’re actually an aged, withered old sage who enjoys slapping us in the face to wake up. Thanks for the reminder of why I write, why I take my photographs, and why I blog!

  5. You are soooooo…..right! I used to have to be busy, busy, busy. But now, my favorite moments are moments that others consider wasted time. Now, if I could just figure out how to ditch my job so that I could “waste” even more time. An added bonus for my new chill factor is better health. I was stressing my body out…..now….I’m being kind to myself…and minor health problems are disappearing.

  6. I love the Little Prince book; I read it when i was 9 and loved it. Wasting time is more fun because unwasteful time (according to my teachers) would be doing maths, instead of staring out of the window or writing the diary of a cheesecake (I did that in food tech once!).

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