And why don’t we? Well, it is hard. It is hard to be a beginner, to try to draw, to sing…we are so invested in the notion that only certain of us are talented. We think that only those who are “the best” at something benefit from doing it. The rest of us are content to be observers. Also, even if we think we might want to capture a beautiful sunset in paints, we are afraid to appear foolish. We are afraid that we will be laughed at, fall on our faces.
And yet, trying to express our selves in these unfamiliar ways can make our lives so much richer, and possibly more joyous. Even if we do fall on our face, even if we don’t produce an award winning drawing, if we continue to try, despite the initial failures and feelings of foolishness, then there are rewards. I think, that, when one attempts to capture a feeling or a thought in paint, or music or words, that the very attempt, brings us closer to the source of those feelings. The attempt to capture something gives us much more appreciation for the beauty of that thing. And as so often happens, our attempt to capture the essence of a thing, or situation, falls far short of our conception. And this too, is a good thing. It forces us to confront our human-ness. No one can continue thinking of themselves as superior when one continually fails to put forth one’s vision. The artistic process keeps us humble."
--Pamela Tanner Boll, director of Who Does She Think She Is?
I first saw this quote on shadesong's LJ, here. It rings with importance for me because I was always one of those kids that was good at anything she tried and so, in response, I did not bother to try anything I was not good at. I have blogged about this before but it was such good timing for me to read this quote today.
I want to draw/write.play my flute because I used to be good at doing all of these things (the flute was self taught!) but I hate to have to practice anything - I am supposed to be good at things the first time I try them because that is how it always used to be! I just don't *know* how to learn to do something that I cannot do well at first try.
I need to make myself learn/practice *things*. Hence doing NaPoWriMo this month, I guess - even if my first entry for that was free verse - the poetry form that I feel most at home using and that I have used for years. I have written poetry of many forms and am researching the many different forms online in the hope that I will try to push my comfort boundaries and try to write poetry in other forms.