January 1, 2012

Believe It or Not

In 1937, artist Mark Shoesmith sculpted a bust of world famous cartoonist/explorer/collector Robert Ripley. That in and of itself may not seem extraordinary, until you learn that Mark Shoesmith was blind. He possessed a sense of touch so acute that even without sight, his work produced an exact likeness.

If you've never been to a Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum, you should, especially if you are a writer. The inspiration will overrun the mind's capacity to process. What captured me about this particular exhibit is the intense concentration on Mark's face in this photograph. The heroine in my current work is blind, and this assured me I can forfeit concerns about the believability of a particular scene and her abilities throughout. The walk-through of the Ripley collection reminded me, if you'll allow this cliche, the truth often is stranger than fiction, such as the elephant with two trunks and the nine foot tall man born in 1918.

I never would have believed a blind person could sculpt an exact likeness of another individual. I was wrong and I love that. We are so quick to limit the possibilities of others, and dare I say ourselves, by what we know and understand. This is a mistake we make over and over again, particularly when unaccustomed to recognizing the active role God plays in our everyday lives and those God moments and miracles that leave others asking if they believe or not.

I don't have any resolutions, but I do have goals for 2012.
  • Complete my second manuscript currently in progress, UNSEEN LOVE
  • Begin and complete the sequel to CHASING THE LION
  • Final in three contests, win at least one (And Genesis will be one of them I'm taking on this year.)
  • To repeat in 2012 the weight loss in 2011 pound for pound
  • To check another item off my bucket list
  • Have an agent or editor request a partial or full of either manuscript
God bless you as we begin the new year, may your achievements in 2012 silence the skeptics and astound the ordinary, like Mark Shoesmith, the blind sculptor. He was way cooler than the shrunken heads and the first ever space suit made in 1956. At least I thought so. =)


Stephen Lott said...

Mr. Shoesmith was a first cousin to my partner's grandfather. It is wonderful to see this blog post as well as the photo; thank you for sharing it.

Nancy Kimball said...

Stephen, thank you and I am still in awe of your partner's grandfather's abilities. This exhibit was on display in San Antonio, Texas.