The New year stands before us like a blank sheet of paper, pristine white, no smudge, no blot.
Soon the pen will be placed in our hands. What shall we write?
Will we dip our pens in the ink of conformity and write in shades of black and grey, or will we unstopper bottles of coloured ink and write the rainbows of our hearts upon the page? Will our words flow with truth and sincerity onto the page or will they be stilted, crammed and ugly? Will we write boldly or in tiny spider script?
Mistakes and blotches are bound to come at no matter how hard we try. No big deal, a blotch of colour can enliven the page. When we look back at the pages end what will we see written, a glorious mess of colour and black ink or a neat precise hand (or worst of all an empty faded page with nothing written because we never tried.)
We write our own autobiographies on the pages of life, each different, diverse. God help us all make our volumes worth the read, blessed with colour and beauty incorporating blotch and text.
When I went to study art I was shocked when the first thing they did was confiscate our pencils and stand us in front of a giant paper with only a nib pen and a pot of ink ( they did supply white paint for when things got too muddled to even see the lines.) The life model then appeared and took a complex reclining pose.
Their reasoning they explained was they didn’t want us to make the pretty little pictures we were used to. They wanted us to “think big and bold, to make decisions (and mistakes). A beautiful picture they explained meant you learnt nothing! A messy sheet was evidence of learning. They heartily applauded our hatched black lines sprawled across the muddied grey of white paint mixed with black mistakes. I had to admit at the end the final creations said so much more than our usual safe renderings.
I have come to apply the same principals to life. It’s those messy times, full of mistakes and attempts to “white wash” with their ugly edges and smudged lines that are some of our most fruitful. We find our vision enlarged, our concepts heightened and our humanity deepened. So don’t worry if you hit a “messy patch” continue to “think big”, to do your best to get it right and be honest when you get it wrong. Your world may not look pretty right then but heh you’re on a learning curve!
“Don’t worry about your mistakes. Some of the dullest people don’t make any.”