Saturday, January 22, 2011

Looking Through a Plane Window in #297

Students - each of us has times when we say, "I am struggling to get ANYTHING down on this piece of paper!"  I had one of those days yesterday, a day when I was sure that my blank page might win the battle.  But I wrote a verse because I promised myself that I would do it, would prove that I would not give up, would win over self-doubt.

Think of something which requires skill: playing basketball, piano, soccer, dancing, drawing, learning a new language, ice skating, singing...  A person who gets stronger and stronger at any one of these things does so through the force of will, by working even when s/he does not feel like it, even when the work does not come easy.

When I see someone who is really good at something, I remember this.  Talent and skill are a direct product of work.  If you are great at juggling, it not because you were born with this ability.  It is because you spent hours and hours dropping balls, lots of time juggling even when it was difficult.  Thinking about work as the price we pay for skill helps me to push through moments of writing self-doubt.

Paper maps and globes have such clear borders for state and country.  Yet from the sky, the earth is all one, swirling with patterns and magic.

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