Live as if you were living a second time, and as though you had acted wrongly the first time.                 (Viktor Frankl)

i love this thought. 
when the boys and i color, draw, create together, part of the activity is the creating- 
and part of the activity is to create the opportunity to 'mess up'.  
In my eyes their art is anything but 'messed up' when they see something go awry on a page.  Noah with his detailed, intricate drawings... Luke with his painting large scenes and lettering...
But when they see something happen on that page that they didn't plan on, the natural tendency is to criticize themselves and impulsive push to crinkle the paper and toss it in the trash.  
this is when i try to use my calm-ish voice and encourage them to put the pencil or paint-brush down and take a minute to look at their work, take a deep breath, and chill for a minute.  
After which i pour into the philosophy i've inadvertently adopted since 2007 and the Valley Hope experience that indeed led to living a second time so to speak
and that is-- "don't throw the picture away because you think it's messed up, turn the mistake into something even more surprisingly beautiful or clever or surprising."
metaphor. life. 
sometimes the boys receive the philosophical sound bite with a non-verbal affirmation: pick up pencil or paint-brush again, and turn the perceived snafu into some lovely piece of curio (which 9 times out of 10 ends up on a wall somewhere in the house)
sometimes there is a slight non-verbal rejection of sound bite including a rolling of the eyes and setting aside of perceived snafu, picking up of blank slate and second try...
either way, i hope we all can learn to not disdain our mistakes, our tries, our attempts to throw color on a page of our lives 
but to learn how to try again, using the knowledge, mix colors, lighten up with lighter tones, or charcoal the whole page and begin again drawing with an eraser rather than pencil on a white page.  
sometimes i roll my eyes in spite of myself, try to throw away the old page, 
only to find i usually run into the same frustrating snag again, and with the choice again to re-learn how to re-write, re-draw, re-work the problem...

Artistry is in all of us, whenever we think our ability to paint or draw or what have you is lacking in luster, it is simply untrue.  Artistry is involved in facing new days, new learnings from old mistakes, new thoughts from old brain frames, creating new memories as moments proceed one to the next. 

as i say to the boys and now they say back to me often when i need it--
relax, enjoy the process, a mistake is an opportunity to make something even more beautiful...
it just depends on the way you look at it. 

1 comment:

Maggie said...

Brava! Well said.xo