On That Literary Moment

You’re sitting alone–all your loved ones live far away or are out of town.

There’s something mindless on the TV doing little more than breaking silence.

The bottle of beer you opened is half-finished and getting warm because you just can’t be bothered to do much of anything.

You’ve slogged through pages of a bland story about members of a sport that sparks the mildest of interests.

Then, suddenly, it comes together and the author drops this bomb:

“The greatest sculptor in the world, working in marble, cannot add a thing. If it is not there, it is not there. No man makes it, and so no man is truly creative, but by subtraction from the whole he reveals it. That is the nearest man can come to creation, and that is why the great are afraid. Only they can see all of it, and they are afraid that, in their process of subtraction, they will not reveal the all of it, and what is hidden will remain hidden forever. They are even more afraid that, in the process, they will cut too far and destroy that much of it forever. That is the way in the making of all things, including the making of a fighter.”

Bam. It hits you. This is not a novel about boxing. Well, it is. But, it is also a musing on art, creation, and the frailties of human expression. You are so much better off for the realization, but mildly irritated that you let your beer get warm. Nothing pairs epiphany quite like a cold beer.


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