Friday, 30 August 2013

The Accountant and The Artist

               Accountants, I’ve discovered, tend to be rational, realistic, logical pragmatists. They live ordered lives based on predictable outcomes that they have reasoned are most practical and sensible, and the least likely to vary.
               Accountants love numbers, numerical calculations, spreadsheets and budgets. Predictability is their comfort zone. They find great satisfaction in balancing the figures at the end of the day, and providing a nest-egg for the end of their life.
              The Accountant loves order. His genius comes to the fore sitting at a desk which is arranged in orderly fashion with an in-tray and an out-tray, neatly stacked manila folders and a pen, looking out at filing cabinets conveniently aligned in alphabetical order along the far, unadorned wall. 
              Accountants pride themselves on being frugal. They waste nothing. When faced with the challenge of writing a birthday card for his daughter, even though he loves her dearly, the Accountant will more than likely simply write, "To Jule, love Dad", for the sake of being economical with words. 
              The Accountant is in no danger of becoming a hoarder. He looks at each and every object and asks, “Do I need this? Will I use this in the near future?” ‘Minimalist’ is a term that comes to mind.
               Accountants are steadfast, reliable people who stick to the rules and are unlikely to ruffle any feathers. They like to plan ahead and to be prepared for any eventuality. They do not like surprises.

How do I know these things?
My father is an accountant.

               Artists on the other hand, tend to be imaginative, inventive, creative, idealistic dreamers. They like to leave options open, to explore all possibilities, to be spontaneous. Not  always content with the status quo, Artists love the challenge of creating alternative pathways in life, and find great delight in anything that looks or behaves out-of-the-ordinary.
               The Artist finds various means to express himself  - it may be through paint on a canvas, words on a page, actions on a stage, or solving a problem that has presented itself.  To this end he looks at every object that comes his way and asks, “What masterpiece is lying within?” and it’s this addiction to ‘possibility thinking’ that causes him to throw nothing away.
                The Artist is happiest when he is alone in his ‘creating space’. His studio / study is left ‘unordered’ so that inspiration can flow freely. Artists do not always appreciate helpful people tidying up for them. It can be challenging for the Artist at times to focus on the practicalities of life, when their creative mind is otherwise engaged. However, at the end of the day, their genius confounds us all, when it brings to reality those amazing things the rest of us can merely dream about.

How do I know these things?
My husband is an Artist.

                That’s right – I have both an Accountant and an Artist who feature prominently in my life. My father Colin, and my husband Ross, could not be more different, and I can't imagine life without either one!

                 Yet, despite being poles apart personality-wise, they actually have a lot in common. It’s a commonality that springs from their personal faith in God.
                 For as long as I have known both my father and my husband, their steadfast commitment to Jesus Christ has been the focus of all they do in life. They have both spent a lifetime focused on knowing God, and making him known. They ceaselessly use their gifts and talents to build up their family, the Church, their local community and beyond.
                 Together in their differences they unite to present God’s image to the world - creative yet immutable, orderly yet unpredictable, faithful yet innovative, absolute yet infinite. Their indisputable love for, and commitment to, their wives and children bears witness to the heart of God for his creation.
                 I have to say I love both my Accountant and my Artist dearly, and that I am very grateful for the texture both these men bring to my life. I cannot overstate the remarkable contribution each has made to the personhood of me.
                 And thinking about it now, I guess the reason I manage to relate so happily with both, is because even though they are poles apart in temperament, there resides within my own (oft-times conflicted) DNA, attributes of both!  
                 Furthermore, I've come to see hints of both the Accountant and the Artist finding expression also in my children, and in my grandchildren. 
                 Or is it the image of God that I see?

1 comment:

  1. I love the honour you give to what must at times be a frustrating mix between your Dad and me. You have expressed the differences and common faith beautifully.