Friday, June 28, 2013

How to Grow Wings

"The better a man is, the more mistakes he will make, for the more new things he will try. I would never promote to a top-level job a man who was not making mistakes...otherwise he is sure to be mediocre." --Peter Drucker

Over and over I find people who have actualized that which they once only dreamed of speak of the importance of mistakes. The implied is the importance of trying, which can have only one of two results. And depending on your experience level, one of those can be much more likely.
I watch my children, I watch them miss their mark over and over. I watch them try over and over.

I watch them walk around in a world that is made for people much bigger than them.

They not only are ok in it, they thrive in it. They grow by leaps and bounds, literally.

They do not care that they have to climb every chair as if it's a small mountain, or that everything they desire is atop surfaces they must precariously balance upon makeshift stacks to reach.

Or that they must ask for help over, and over, and over, often to others that may or may not have the facility or desire of helping them at that moment. I think, if I lived in their world now, how would I react? Frustrated that everything is so hard?

Upset that i have to depend on others so much? Ashamed that i am so small?

And suddenly my world shifts, and my children are no longer lacking experience. They are the masters.

Because even as they are still stumbling through this life, they are fearless and determined and patient with themselves.

If they can maintain that perspective, anything they want is theirs. I am, despite my aptitude at walking and talking and using the potty, the student.
Because somewhere along the line I picked up the idea that mistakes are unwanted, that something wasn't worth doing unless you could be good at it.

As that idea settled in its roots became entangled into my willingness to try new things, my ability to be consistent and practice the things I love and value, regardless of how good I was at them. I would long for aptitude so I would never feel inadequate again, not realizing that having a perfectly done life would be just that--done. Twisted branches of anxiety grew eclipsing the light of passion and playfulness,

of the deep knowing that if you want to master something, you will, but not without missing the mark and reaiming possibly thousands of times. The path of mastery is one of love and dedication to that which you deeply value. It is not a quick ride to the top.
But those roots are loosing now, the faint halo of light growing stronger each day as I prostrate myself over and over before my ineptitudes, honoring them for what they are...a beginning.

I am the caterpillar who has rolled itself dark in the fibers of desire for Something, something he senses in every cell of his being, something that renders him willing to digest his well structured form into gelatinous chaos for the possibility of what lay ahead. He cannot flutter wings yet, he flies on faith,

faith that if he lets go of what was merely adequate today, plunging himself into the unknown, the mess will reorient itself, cell by cell, day by day, until the fibers of incubation tear apart no longer able to contain that which he has become,
a promise fulfilled.

This is what the child knows.
It's why she doesn't worry about that initial clumsiness.

Or ignorance.
Or confusion.
The apparent mess.

It's why she keeps bounding

And leaping

And always



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Location:Santa Fe