Vanity project

March 7, 2020 § 17 Comments

When I got the invoice, Greg said, “It’s a bit pricey for a vanity project.”

Actually, it wasn’t. It was the bargain of the century. Greg Leibert had designed from scratch, then hand-drawn, then created with his own calligraphy, then integrated my text with his own artwork to make this amazingly wonderful brochure:

Of course the words lingered, “Vanity project.” Ouch! And it reminded of a dig that Patrick Brady once sent my way, “Sadder than a self-published book.” This was shortly after I’d … self-published a book.

But then I thought about it a bit, and this piece of wisdom from the Book of Ecclesiastes popped into my head: “All is vanity.”

If you think about it, the rest of the passage sums up, well, everything:

What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

King James Version

In other words, life is a vanity project, so I suppose the questions are 1) Is it meaningful to you? 2) Does it harm anyone?

If the answers are “Yes” and “No,” I figure you’re good, and if the artwork is great and the price is right, well, so much the better.


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