Wednesday, January 26, 2011
guest blog post :: the first stroke
Well we could not be more excited to introduce the very first Makerie guest blog post! We are incredibly honored to present THE Jenny Doh, who we admire in absolutely every way.
Not so long ago, when I had my daughter in my studio, I gave her a stretched canvas for her to try her hand at painting. She sat there staring at that canvas, transfixed, and unable to move. After a few minutes, I asked her what was happening and she said “I’m scared I’ll mess it up.”
“So what?” I asked Monica. "Who cares? So what if you mess it up? You don’t think I can get anther stretched canvas? You don’t think there will be any more paint left? Even if you mess up this canvas and the next one and the one after that, trust me, there will be more canvases and there will always be more paint. It’s OK. Go ahead and paint."
So my cautious little Monica started. One stroke. Then another. In the end, it wasn’t a masterpiece but it was her first piece. And the thing is, no matter who you are, you’ll never get to the 100th piece unless you complete your first.
I think the blank canvas can symbolize other things in our lives that can cause us to be gripped with fear. Fear of meeting new people, fear of pursuing a new project, of making changes in our personal and professional lives.
There's a saying that I love. It goes like this: "Courage isn't the absence of fear. It's conquering it."
Whether it's fear of the blank canvas or the strange noise in the middle of the night, fear is fear. And if courage isn't the absence of it but rather the conquering of it, the question of course is how do we conquer it? How do we get out from under the covers to get to the bottom of the strange noise? How do we transition dreams into tangible plans to make changes that we know we need to make in our lives?
I think the answer is as easy and complex as taking that first stroke ... that first canvas ... that first step. And how once the first is taken, the second, third, and more are just around the corner.