To Build a Wall Perfectly

Last night I was reading blogs.  I love to see what’s going on in the minds of other people and I ran across this blog.  Julianna posted a quote there that’s been reciting itself over and over in my head ever since.  The quote is:

“You don’t set out to build a brick wall.
You say, I’m gonna lay this brick,
as perfectly as a brick can be laid.
And you do that every single day.
And soon you have a wall.”

Will Smith

Initially, I thought,  “Whoa.  Will Smith?  Really??”  My curiosity was ignited so I thought about this a little.  Why not Will Smith?  But it wasn’t who had said it that followed me around all day.  It was what he said. My brain grabbed the words and slow-chewed them with relish.  Here’s my version:

When you have a dream and you want to make it reality, take each step towards achieving it mind-fully.

Focus on each step as if it was the only goal to be reached.  You won’t get lost in the illusion of insurmountable odds.

Take satisfaction in the small accomplishments.  In that satisfaction is tangible perfection, not some unattainable ideal of it.

Then take the next step in like fashion, and the next, and the next.

Do these things and one day you’ll find yourself effortlessly living your dream, fulfilled.

Will said it better with metaphor but this was my mind-speak.  I realized subconsciously I’ve already been approaching my dream of being a successful author in this way.  Focusing on each brick, laying them down the best I can and taking satisfaction in each one for it’s own sake.  This blog is one of those “bricks.”  But the subconscious lacks clarity.

Today my husband was reading my blog and came across an article that caused him to sit back and rub his whiskers.  I was overcome with a feeling of dread.

“What would your comment on this article be if you hadn’t written it?”

The lead weight dropped in my stomach.  He didn’t like it.  This to a perfectionist is a real knife twist.  I stumbled and fumbled for an answer, but realized as the author I couldn’t find a perspective detached enough to honestly answer his question.  A very good sign I have so much to learn before the dream can be a reality.  Do you feel the weight of those words?

“I have so much to learn before the dream can be a reality.”

Ugh.  Then Mr. Smith’s quote recited itself in my head again.

 You don’t set out to build a brick wall.
You say, I’m gonna lay this brick,
as perfectly as a brick can be laid.

The light went on.  I may not have written that article to the best of my ability.  I rushed it.  My blog is growing more rapidly than I imagined.  I have readers.  Readers!  (Breathe, Jean.)  There are people who return every day to see what the next brick is.  In my haste to get that brick in place, I forgot to lay it perfectly.  I want my wall to inspire, not to crumble and fall.  So…

I’m gonna lay this brick,
as perfectly as a brick can be laid.

Hopefully I can hold onto this quote every time I go to lay my “brick” and readers will keep coming back.

May we all have a perfect wall upon which we can hang the artwork of our heart’s deepest wishes.


9 thoughts on “To Build a Wall Perfectly

  1. Wonderful analogy and perhaps when we start out, we are like a child with building blocks, as time passes we become aware of the difference between the first bricks laid and the more recent with greater experience. We should see the joy and learning in those first bricks which often required great courage.

    • I agree, Claire. I was looking at this blog much in that way. The very first posts, although not that far down the list, are so clumsy. This one was too. I keep catching things I need to fix and editing. However, I see improvement and that excites me. We can’t learn anything of depth without making what we call “mistakes.” You’re right.

  2. “I have so much to learn before the dream can be a reality.” I LOVE that you voice this out loud. Everyone says it to themselves at one point or another. They say “I can do this when I’m stronger… when I’m older… when I’m better.” In doing so they miss out on what they can accomplish today. Reading this post is timely for me, as I just wrote a post today about changing the world. It’s a big dream not just for me but for everyone. I’m a college kid, but I’m not JUST a college kid. I have the power to make a difference in the world, laying my wall one brick at a time. And so does everybody else.

    Thank you for the reflection, I very much enjoyed it.

    • I think the key, and the beauty, of chasing a dream are the little realizations along the way. They give enough inspiration to keep going. Self admissions are part of that but as you said, they don’t have to be statements of failure or procrastination. One step at a time, one brick at a time. Makes you want to fly, doesn’t it?

  3. That is a beautiful quote and this is a beautiful post. As a dreamer also wishing to be an author someday, I know exactly how hard it can be to detach yourself from your work, especially when working on a supposedly “personal” blog–that still has readers! Once more, thank you for posting this, and I wish you the very best in your brick-laying.

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