A woman I didn't know said something to the effect she could never do what I am doing because she would have no idea how to do it.It was another Friday afternoon at Mercy Hospital's Art and Spirituality Center when I was playing with a piece of chip board, paper I tore from a book and some paint I thought might turn into some form of creative expression.
I looked over my shoulder and explained, "I have no idea what I am doing."
She pointed out how I did know what I was doing. "But look, you have printed book pages and you are swooshing that watered down yellow paint over them..."
I nodded and said, "Exactly. That's all I've got right now. Nothing more..."
That was a few weeks ago and since then, I continued going where I had no idea where I was going. I wandered through images, paint, glue, stencils and I just followed my nose into a mixed media piece I call "Wander, too."
Its sort of been a theme of mine recently: wandering.
I've been embracing not knowing my destination.
I've been celebrating making mistakes along my path to nowhere and not worrying if things get torn or stained or people step on my toes and inadvertently hurt my feelings.
Holding onto the "what's wrong" or "what's hurt" afterall ends up causing more harm to myself then to anyone else.
I've had this similar, "I don't know what I am doing" conversation with quite a few people lately. It is actually difficult for me to figure out why people don't just leap in and try it even though they think they can't. I've been trying something else on instead.
I remember how hesitant I am to try projects or processes that are more linear and require precise, no-room for mistakes sort of things. I've apparently turned that side of my brain off so much I can not even think of one to use as an example.
How about the annual income taxes? There is no choice with doing taxes.
You can't just look at the IRS and say, "I don't know what to do!" you just have to see to it they get done, somehow by someone.
Taxes are very linear: numbers in boxes and precise calculations and the biggest nut to crack at all - reportable to the government. Just like there is no crying in baseball, there is no torn tissue paper or spilled paint when it comes to doing taxes.
I can't charm the IRS away no matter how hard I try. All the tricks I learned from my mother, the queen of the charmers herself, will do me no good.
It makes me nervous, these linear processes. They are often outside m realm of comfort.
It clunked me over the head like a croquet mallet swung by a frustrated knickers wearing adolescent. "So this is how people feel who say, "I couldn't do that, I have no idea what I am doing..." "
My heart swings wide open to them when I realize how alike we all are, we just show it differently. Maybe next time I'll offer a chair, a piece of paper and a smile and offer to give room to not have any idea... and let it flow together.
Julie Jordan Scott is a writer, creative life coach, speaker, performance poet, Mommy and mixed-media artist. Her word-love themed art will be for sale at a First Friday soon, when it is warmer than it was in December!, in Downtown Bakersfield. Check out the links below to follow her on a bunch of different social media channels, especially if you find the idea of a Word-Love Party bus particularly enticing.
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