The Angel is My Watermark

A couple of quotes from the short essay, “The Angel is My Watermark,” by Henry Miller.  (It was the preface of Miller’s book of watercolors published in 1961, and reproduced in Stand Still Like the Hummingbird, pp. 38-41).

“We don’t have to turn out a masterpiece every day.  To paint is the thing, not to make masterpieces.”

“…in fair weather or foul the men who make the last fuss do more to save what is worth saving — and how much is worth saving, do you ever stop to think? — than those who push us about because they think they have the answer to everything.”

“You don’t call flowers friends and stars enemies, or horses Communists and angels Fascists.  You accept them for what they are and you praise God that they are what they are.  You desist from improving the world or even yourself.  You learn to see not what you want to see but what is.  And what is is usually a thousand times better than what might be or ought to be.”

“One doesn’t sing because he hopes one day to appear in an opera; one sings because one’s lungs are full of joy.”


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