Michael Jones' new book on Awakening the Commons of the Imagination has a chapter on beauty, where he talks about Robert Frost's relationship with soil ...
Jones shares Frost's explorations of the connection between a farmer cultivating his fields slowly, over time, to produce the best possible crop from them, and an artist giving their own creative soil time to develop, to become enriched by the seasons of life, 'plowing under' our thoughts and ideas until such time as they have ripened and refined into their own perfect form.
This makes sense to me. I've often thought about my life so far as the gestation period for my art. To some it may seem that I've wasted a lot of time not doing much of anything, :-), but from another point of view perhaps I've been slowly honing the rough carbon of my life's experience on the whetstone of contemplation and imagination, until the day it emerges in its full brilliance as pure diamond.
I must admit I like this idea quite a bit. :-)