17 April, 2018

What's your Opus?

(First, I realized that not only did I not link up N yesterday, I also had scheduled it for the wrong date. Grr... in case you are interested, here is a link to Never Settle.")

What's your Opus?
Historically, a Magnum Opus was an artist's greatest work, or at least, most well-known.
mag·num o·pus
ˌmaɡnəm ˈōpəs/
noun
noun: magnum opus; plural noun: magnum opuses; plural noun: magna opera
  1. a large and important work of art, music, or literature, especially one regarded as the most important work of an artist or writer.



  1. Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, for example. He was a prolific artist, but that is the only one of his that I can name off the top of my head. 
  2. Beethoven's 5th Symphony. Everyone knows "Da-da-da-DUM" even if you've never heard the whole symphony. 
  3. Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets. Many of us know several of these, but Romeo and Juliet - whether you had to read it Freshman year or not - is so well-known that it is commonly referenced in all kinds of pop culture.

What will be your Magnum Opus?
Most of us will not Opus on the Magnitude of Beethoven and Da Vinci, but what do you hope to be known for? Can you guess? Do you have a clear goal?

Let's change the question: What's your Opus?
What do you do in the world?

I recently realized that my greatest spiritual gift is that of encouraging. I have been busily lifting the spirits of two different friends as they looked for jobs. I'm not about solving their problems - how can I? - but I can offer a kind word, and a reminder that they are cared for. I know it's not a Magnum Opus - it's neither "A" work, nor well-known - but it is, perhaps, an opus!

In a book I read decades ago about life overseas, the author mentioned that she was so busy searching for her purpose while her husband did his work, that it took her a long time to realize that simply offering water and a smile to villagers might be the greatest thing she did there.

People do great things on a small scale every day. What comes to your mind?

(If you're visiting from A to Z, please include the name of your blog as it is on the Master List so I can return the favor!)

15 comments:

  1. This is what I call 'leaving a legacy' and is something I mull over regularly. What will I leave behind? What will I be remembered for? I'd love it to be about leaving a smile and a laugh and bringing sunshine and contributing to the world. I've still got time to build on all of that (fortunately!)

    Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au
    O for Open Your Eyes

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    1. I don't foresee having a lasting legacy in the world, but I know several friends have already shown me ways my strength and independence has been an example to them. Maybe that's it. And that's okay.

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  2. I agree with you that people do great things on a small scale every day, and perhaps that is their most meaningful legacy. When I think about my parents, my dad's legacy - his magnum opus - was service. Throughout his entire life, he served, helped, and guided others. The bulk of his life he was a social worker and then he became a deacon after he retired. My mother's legacy was her hospitality and making people feel welcome. Consistency, people wrote that about her in sympathy cards after she died.

    I'm still trying to figure out what my magnum opus - my legacy - is. You've given me something to reflect upon today. Thank you.

    Ann
    https://harvestmoonbyhand.blogspot.com/2018/04/hobbies-that-begin-with-o-blogging-from.html

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    1. I am so glad that I went early, with my parents, for my grandma's funeral preparations. I heard such a different side of her! Everyone talked about someone who knew what she wanted and how to get it, and yet with such respect for her kindness.

      Her legacy to me? On her 100th birthday I asked her the secret to her long life, and she said, "Just, love everybody!"

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  3. This is food for thought. I have no idea what my opus is. I guess that's something one should ask of others. Have them tell me. It's easier for someone outside of yourself to figure those things out usually.

    Liz from Laws of Gravity #510.

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    1. I wonder if we can ever really know before we're gone? Surely it's something that lives after a person? Van Gogh saw no fame or money during his life.

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  4. I don't have any idea what my opus is either. Maybe my kids! Or my grandkids!

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    1. From reading your blog the last few years, I would say you have had a Magnum Opus in raising your grandkids. That, my dear, is a labor of love.

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  5. I could go very literal here, with Aunty Ida (Aunty Ida's Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) as the character behind it is probably my favorite creation.

    If I created her.

    I have some doubts, in that I think she probably exists in another dimension.

    But on a higher level, you've given me interesting food for thought (that actually jibes with my yoga practice this morning. Hello universe!)

    @IsaLeeWolf
    A Bit to Read

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    1. I love Aunty Ida. The world needs her.

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  6. Right now my blog is my opus. I'm steaming toward 750 posts, most of which are 1000 words or more. Specifically, I am currently creating a fantasy world of my own to play with on paper and in a Dungeons and Dragons game. But that can change in a heartbeat. There are always more opuses on the horizon. kingmengi.wordpress.com

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    1. I've been thinking a lot about RPGs lately. Without set working hours, I think I'm just dreaming of the days when I could live in a make-believe world going on adventures. I'll check out your world!

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  8. I know my opus. I want to be remembered as a guy who brought joy to people. And I want people to be very aware of how much I enjoyed life.

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    1. I think you are making that true on both counts.

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I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.