Despite a lifetime in related professions that provided security but little independence, I have often found myself wistfully thinking of those whom I encountered who “colored outside the lines”. In preschool, everyone was given crayons and coloring books as an activity but not everyone followed the “rules”. Some like me grew into adult roles that bounded us while others were “unbounded”.
Contrary to the life of an engineer, some occupations naturally tend to be suited for those who are self-aware and independent. Shepherds are one of these. No specialized schools, certification boards, or comforts are attached to this calling. With a well-trained canine, sheep, goats, and cattle will fairly often follow the direction and care of a shepherd with life experience outdoors of a farm or ranch.
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself. – Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays
When parents mentor sons and daughters in security, stability and future happiness, rarely would artists, painters or sculptors, be encouraged as a calling, though as a pastime these might be. Yet the unconventional mind heeds no “wisdom” that hinders the creative process.
The sculptor who deals with form seeks to imprison beauty in a marble statue that will withstand the ravages of time during millenniums; but a marble statue is cold and speaks to but a few of the most evolved who are able to infuse the statue with their own life. -Max Heindal
And another is a writer. Not the marketing copy writer, journalist, or a textbook developer, who all have someone over them who sets expectations, sets deadlines, or approves content, but someone who creates pictures, loosens emotions, and fills a void for readers (really, participants). This writer is one who depends less on the approval of others than from oneself. Such a writer is part-shaman, who calls upon magic to engage others into the unbounded self of imagination.
People have always heard voices. Sometimes they’re called shamans, sometimes they’re called mad, and sometimes they’re called fiction writers. I always feel lucky that I live in a culture where fiction writing is legal and not seen as pathology. – Ruth Ozeki