OK, you’re great.
BFD. Lots of people are great. But that man, along with many others who worked along with him to achieve that little confection, is also the raw material for further greatness.That’s a whole different ballgame.
You see, that’s different than just greatness.
Bernard of Chartres said we are like dwarfs standing upon the shoulders of giants, and so able to see more and see farther than the ancients. Truer words were never spoken.
I copy things all the times. I parse out tid-bits from the pattern books of the frock coat set, cobbling them together to make something good from something great. It’s instructive that Gene Kelly doesn’t smear himself with chocolate and scream Vagina! every ten seconds to achieve originality. He, like the people that followed him, distilled from what was worthwhile a recipe for what was sublime. He is inventive, not deliberately obtuse and strange.
I put the wood together to make furniture. I put the words together to make sentences. I try, every day, to find the thing that someone else can use for their own raw material. People tell me occasionally that they use the furniture as the raw material in their domestic lives. That’s a start.
But I may never know if I’ve succeeded. Since it is rare and unlikely, I will probably die without even an inkling of it. But I’m living every day with the trying. It’s enough, for us mortals.