It’s rare that we start anything with a completely blank canvas in life. Living pads us with too much experience for that. It’s just up to us to take what we have and run with it in order to see what we can do, in order to find what we are capable of.
The first steps can be cautious at first, safe even, until we find our feet. Just gentle strokes on the page, a cautious poke into the fire, a word softly spoken but with conviction. The first steps are often the hardest, but the most rewarding.
Next, with feet fixed in place and the principle of the thing defined, we can be braver, be bold. We can dabble with a contrast without being afraid to go out of the lines. We won’t know if something will work until we try it. There’s little chance to go back now: the route is set. No matter, we’ll live or we’ll learn.
Now we’re a little more comfortable, we can move forward at a faster paste, filling gaps and spaces, making choices more quickly and brushing mistakes away. For they will occur, the always do, but we have learned ways to cope with mistakes on this journey. We know how to accept them, to move on from them and ensure the end result is the best we can pull off.
It’s time now for the nitty-gritty, to test out technique. The devil is in the detail, of course, we all know that. But wait, don’t be too scared of details lurking down below. Perfection is also the enemy of the good, so we should prepare for our close up without fear of finding a blemish or two. We learn from where we are found wanting, and what is wanting can only be found by letting someone have a closer look.
And when the show is over, the moment is done, it’s okay to step back and admire. To enjoy the fruits of our labours, the glory no less, and to celebrate a job well done from a tiny first step. It’s okay, all of this, of course it is…
… just as long as we remember we did all of this to learn and to grow, which is only worth doing if we turn the page, take another blank-ish canvas, and get to work all over again.