What Other People Think
This photo-illustration makes me think of Maya Angelou‘s response to criticisms of her literary choices. The United States Poet Laureate said,
I know some people might think it odd — unworthy even — for me to have written a cookbook, but I make no apologies. The U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins
thought I had demeaned myself by writing poetry for Hallmark Cards, but I am the people’s poet so I write for the people.
The seven Xs in the picture clearly represent warnings, advising caution and preparation for danger. But X also represents the unknown, a constrained expression of the zero, a glyph that suggests infinite possibility.
When developing something new, the Xs can stand for voice of doubt, criticism and censure that can railroad creative ventures and stop us at the tracks. In this image, the decrepit fence has a big hole and warning words on the big cross face the other direction.
This picture and Maya Angelou’s words remind me that sometimes we have to find a way past the gates and their keepers to the openings and opportunities that are ours because they are ours alone.
First published August 30, 2015,
Original Wordsmith Stars blog