True artists are like four leaf clovers: they don’t fit in, they are different, and hard to find; and you will feel extremely lucky if you find them because they have this innate power to inspire you. The rest of the world glorifies them as they are special and unique when they are “discovered,” but until they are appreciated by the right people and environments, the reality is that they are often just written off as abnormal, weird, and deformed, even. But they they don’t care and that’s what makes them beautiful, and true artists.
The other day, I was walking to my parents’ place for lunch for my weekly visit, and I saw a cluster of three leaf clovers, and for some reason, I felt compelled to kneel down to the ground and look for this mythical four leaf clover in the grass. By the way, being content in your life brings many benefits, and one of them is that you start to feel your senses enhance and you feel more observant of your surroundings. It was one of those days, where I must have passed by these clusters of three leaf clovers many many times before, but that moment, I noticed how green the grass smelled, how blue and open the sky felt, and how interesting these clusters of three leaf clovers were.
So there I was, on the grass, with my work clothes and high heels and all (yes I wear high heels to work, don’t hate), kneeled on the grass because of this instant curiosity to see if I can find this four leaf clover.
And let me ask you this… when is the last time you took the time to really look at the three leaf clovers? Because I noticed something interesting… these three leaf clovers were actually really really pretty; They had these perfect little heart shaped leaves that fit perfectly to one another. I went through maybe 30 of these three leaf clovers, that looked identical to each other, as if they were flaunting their perfect conformity amongst other three leaf clovers. But despite their perfect shapes, and while I admired their unified beauty, I was uninterested in them – I wanted to find the lucky four. leaf. clover.
After 10 minutes or so of looking (one elderly lady stopped and looked at me weird, until I told her I was compelled to look for a four leaf clover, and she smiled brightly and told me, “you know they say they bring good luck!”), I found a four leaf clover…………
……but it was nothing like what I had imagined it to look like. I thought it would be a set of four symmetrical, perfectly heart shaped leaves complementing one leaf to another leaf in harmony, and I would pick it, I would take a picture of it, instagram it, all that crazy shit you would think you would do when you find a four leaf clover! Right? Well I didn’t do any of that. I was consumed by the beauty of the enlightenment it offered me.
So here was the reality… the four leaf clover was fragile, frail, and the leaves had yellow age marks on them. The leaves were nothing close to perfect hearts, but they were all asymmetrical and compared to all the other three leaf clovers, it was… rather not “pretty.”
Then I remembered something my mom had told me as a child… four leaf clovers are actually the “abnormal” three leaf clovers. And 20 some years later, I realized the beauty of this statement. One optimistic, artistic, poetic soul probably witnessed what I saw that moment (and maybe Irish, and had a keen fascination in stories involving pots of gold and midgets), how imperfect, how independent, and how different a four leaf clover was, and thought, why not glorify their uniqueness and call them the “lucky clovers”, rather than shun them for their deformity?
And whoever thought of that was probably a true artist. I remember learning about the definition of “art” in Anthropology in college and being very fascinated by its meaning. Art is something that is not only beautiful, but accepted to be beautiful by the majority.
But in my opinion true artists are people who create art not for the majority because they create without caring too much about what other people care to accept as beautiful or meaningful. They are often written off as different, weird, and even deformed, with their ideas, perspectives, and their creations. Remember van Gogh? His work wasn’t even glorified until after his death really. (And he was missing a f*ckin’ ear! He fits so perfectly to my four leaf clover metaphor!) But he was a true artist always. I hear about stories of even modern day artists and musicians too where they were often written off as the “weirdos” in their childhood or teenage years, and they become big stars when their unique qualities actually seem refreshing to the rest of the conformed world. And who are people who usually “discover” these talents? They are often also fellow artists who have the ability to find beauty in them.
This is what I will end this message on. Next time you see a person or encounter an idea that is out of your own comfort zone, whether it is because of the person’s beliefs, looks, backgrounds, or whatever makes the person or idea “abnormal” to you, remember that they could be your four leaf clover, and you may be extremely lucky to have met them or learned about them, if you look at it with an open mind and an optimistic set of eyes. Find the beauty in them. You have the power to do so. If it takes practice, practice.
Because the beauty you find in them reflects the beauty within yourself.