08 April 2010

Don't Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight

Or wear high-heeled boots to the farm, or make a sourdough starter the week before Passover, et cetera.

Welp, nobody bought yarn at the thing I went to last night. The yarn was petted by many people, however (good job, merino/silk blend!), and the colors were admired by many people, too. It became clear once I got there, though, that everyone else was selling yarn from their own stashes, yarns that were maybe 10-20 years old, commercially spun and dyed, weird old yarns, for very cheap. The woman closest to me was selling for $1 a ball. A DOLLAR.

I was not selling my yarn for a dollar. I was selling it for, you know, a real price that reflected the quality of the base yarn and my time in dyeing it by hand. So, no sales. No takers for my business cards, either.

But I will not lose hope! Okay, last night, I kind of did. But mostly because I'm not used to failure (how conceited does that sound? Goodness.) because of ... the perfectionism. I just don't do things I won't do well. Honestly. I'm working on it. I'm ready to no longer be a person who says, "I'm afraid to do that one thing I love (job, whatever it is) because I love it so much and I might not be good at it/it might not work out." I have been that person for a long time, and I feel pretty dumb about it. I mean, how much longer am I going to make myself wait before I do things, make things, try things that I want? A year? Ten years? Never?

And how much more of life is there? Segue: morbid thoughts. People die, people get hurt, people develop diseases, other life-altering things happen, and suddenly, there is no chance, there is no time, no money, no arm strength left to chop onions for dinner (remember that one last year? good times), and ... nothing to show for it.

So, new strategy: rely on the fact that I am smart enough to learn how to do whatever I want to do, stubborn enough to set my mind on a giant goal and make it happen (see: senior art show of 80 ceramic tiles made in three weeks, fired [without a bisque firing, which is beyond flirting with disaster] two days before the show opened), and good enough at translating the images in my mind to objects or words that, eventually, I can make things look how I want them to look ... that I can learn to ask for help, learn to listen to my body's limitations, learn to try and fail and try again.

Whew, that kind of turned into a manifesto. And, in the spirit of manifestos:

"Come, my friends!" I said. "Let us go! At last Mythology and the mystic cult of the ideal have been left behind. We are going to be present at the birth of the centaur and we shall soon see the first angels fly! We must break down the gates of life to test the bolts and the padlocks! Let us go! Here is they very first sunrise on earth! Nothing equals the splendor of its red sword which strikes for the first time in our millennial darkness."

We went up to the three snorting machines to caress their breasts. I lay along mine like a corpse on its bier, but I suddenly revived again beneath the steering wheel — a guillotine knife — which threatened my stomach. A great sweep of madness brought us sharply back to ourselves and drove us through the streets, steep and deep, like dried up torrents. Here and there unhappy lamps in the windows taught us to despise our mathematical eyes. "Smell," I exclaimed, "smell is good enough for wild beasts!"

(Just ignore the parts about war forever, getting rid of feminism, and hating on museums.)

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