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Dancing with the Gods: Reflections on Life and Art Hardcover – June 5, 2018
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Kent Nerburn's understanding of the transcendent nature of the creative process is vividly on display in his uplifting new book. His enthusiasm is contagious. Tune into his wise words and make something beautiful. (–RICK RUBIN)
Nerburn’s insistence that creativity is a gift energizes. (―Maggie Taft, Booklist)
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This is no how-to book. It is a book of wisdom and insight that articulates the deep issues that all of us in the arts know in our heart. Anyone who works in the arts or dreams of a life in the arts should read this book. I truly believe that if Rilke were able to see this book, he would consider it a worthy companion to LETTERS TO A YOUNG POET.
It is a book that speaks from a place of truth and also tenderness.
“You will live in a world of uncertainty, never knowing if your creations are good enough, always fearing financial cataclysm, unsure if your dreams are more than self-delusion….But you will also live in a world of joy, with its magical moments when the act of creation lifts you and propels you with a power that seems to come from beyond yourself. …. And know the miraculous experience of having intimate conversations with people long dead and far away through your personal dialogue with their art. You will know what it is to work with love.”
Beyond words, this work redeemed my spirit as it pushed me forward, onward in my art. I highly recommend it as a reading constant to all of us who, on a daily basis, wrestle with fear and doubt about our work and passions, yet experience subtle, genuine moments of grace and providence in our pursuits.
Most of the book actually encourages the life of the artist, but it does so realistically with examples from the author's life. There is also an examination into alternate careers and the role that art plays in a world that needs doctors, teachers, cops, etc. Overall, it's a very grounded exploration of the creative life that would definitely help anyone who wants to do art for a living.
Also, the book is sectioned off into small chapters, so after reading it it's very convenient to go back to a specific passage and gleam wisdom from it. It's like a Bible for artists.
this incredibly beautifully written book.. Still I met challenges and the sudden fire of new thoughts and
considerations. As an artist, I found this work to offer me confirmation, validation and guidance. I'm going to put
it on the shelf just above my drawing table where I can take it down periodically and get a jolt of inspiration.