The Gift | Lewis Hyde


In a fantastic little bookshop in Lenox, Massachusetts this week, I found a book called The Gift by Lewis Hyde. The title refers to that certain something we each individually have to offer. A kind of cult classic (recently going into its 25th edition) it was called “the best book I know of for talented but unacknowledged creators” by Margaret Atwood. I’m only partway through, but when I ran across this May Sarton quote, I knew I wanted to keep reading:

“There is only one deprivation … and that is not to be able to give one’s gift … The gift, turned inward, unable to be given, becomes a heavy burden, even sometimes a kind of poison. It is as though the flow of life were backed up.”

If we can’t find a way to share what we have to offer–and many can’t at their day jobs–we’re lost. But I believe that we are meant to continue trying.

2 thoughts on “The Gift | Lewis Hyde

  1. Tomas says:

    What a wonderful quote. That’s the truth, and that’s so all over the earth.
    Unfortunately, it may put on quite confusing form at times. While that needs no comments in moral sense, what to do in the case the obstacle is the financial? In the concrete, only lack of laptop and money to pay for the Internet stops the visions of the art therapy club to unlock the imprisoned in the status of the needless disabled.
    Sorry for my English, but I hope you understood me rightly. I see my gift but I cant use it without the tools that have a cost.
    Thank you


  2. Dr. Tom Bibey says:

    For a long time I thought the only real gift I got was to read books and then fill in the right bubbles on standardized tests.

    Later, as I got into being a Doc, I realized that gift was to prepare me to listen to a human being and be able to help them with their troubles.

    Still later, I found another gift in that I got to live long enough to write about what I had learned.

    In some ways, a gift is a burden. None of this was an easy life. I don’t worry about that, though. I figure rest comes when you get to heaven and retire for eternity.

    Dr. B


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