Monday, September 7, 2015

The Perfect Circle

     One of my favorite stories about artists is about one whom I believe lived in medieval times.  I'm sorry -- I have forgotten his name -- but I have not forgotten what he did.

     The story goes that the king heard of the Artist and wished to see if the Artist was as talented as people claimed.  If so, then the king would appoint him as the royal painter, a position of honor and wealth.
     The king sent a committee to the Artist, but the Artist (being a talented artist) was very busy.  When the committee asked for a sample of his art to carry back to the king, the Artist dipped his paintbrush in some paint and, with one swoop, drew a circle on some canvas.  Then he gave the canvas to the committee and sent them on their way.
     When the committee returned with such a simple painting, the king was angry.  How dare the Artist insult him with childish shapes?  But, when the king calmed down, he began to examine the circle.  The longer he studied it, the more amazed he became.  No matter what angle it was examined from, the circle proved to be a perfect circle.
      Astounded with the talent of an artist who could free-hand a perfect circle, the king sent for him and appointed him the honored position.

     I see this in writing.  Sometimes the simplest writing is the best.  A truly great writer will be able to paint his words in a simple but profound form.  A child will recognize it as a pleasant, easy shape that they love.  A genius will marvel at the fact he can finds perfection and revelation in every angle he examines.


  1. Wow! That's a lovely story, and I completely agree with what you said about writing. Sometimes, it's tempting to dress up the simple truth with a lot of fancy words. But that may not serve the story at all.