The phrase “keeping your nose to the grindstone,” makes me laugh. I imagine a poor knife sharpener with a scabby nose. Didn’t those grindstones come with a warning? Wouldn’t the master grinder, warn his pupil of the hazards? I have discovered the expression may have originally, been to “hold one’s nose to the grindstone.” The change of one word alters the meaning. Now, the master is in charge. Chop, chop, there Mr. Apprentice.
In our modern era, we put the onus on ourselves to develop and maintain our persistence. We place the attainment of success on frail human shoulders and despise ourselves when we crumble under enormous expectations. While it is true, we bear responsibility for creating and pushing forward, no one can do it all. We need a support system.
Vincent van Gogh relied on his loving brother Theo. But many argue Van Gogh’s pieces would be less popular except for the efforts of his sister-in-law, Johanna Gezina van Gogh-Bonger. After the death of both Vincent and Theo, she and her infant son became the owners of Vincent’s work. People urged her to dump the collection and get on with her life. Instead, she worked to increase awareness and admiration of his paintings. Theo helped to hold his brother’s nose to the grindstone and implored him to complete his artwork. Theo also created an appreciation, and perhaps a sense of obligation with Johanna to continue promoting the art.
Who is working on your team?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer