You think that it’s a picture of a squirrel? Zoom in a bit closer. What the heck?!?

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Paul Smith died in 2007 at the age of 85 and chances are, you’ve never heard of him. The first 16 years he spent just learning to speak and walk. He lived his life at his parents’ house and, after they passed away, in a nursing home.  The reason? He had severe cerebral palsy.

You might think that that’s the end of a sad little story, but Paul Smith’s life was quite the opposite of sad or little.

He was a chess master, a devoted church-goer, sports fan, lover of nature and music, but most extraordinary of all, he had what emerged to be an enormous artistic talent. Because of his condition, he had very limited means of expression: in fact, he produced all his pieces with a typewriter. The work he left behind is a simply astonishing legacy.

Check out this video report on him, made when he was still alive — it’s not just fascinating, it’s so touching as well:

Just imagine the will and ingenuity it must have taken him to develop the idea, first of all, and then painstakingly learn to master this inventive art form. Next time you face an obstacle, let Paul’s memory and achievement inspire you to push through, stay imaginative, and keep working as he did!