Monday, March 21, 2011

see it, say it, be tested...

After posting on the value of making mistakes, it might seem obvious that I myself would be tested shortly there after. For over twenty years, my wife and I have had stained glass panels in our oak front door. The door I made myself, and it was in need of being thoroughly cleaned and refinished. The lovely glass was made by a friend and needed to be removed before the door was taken off the hinges. One panel fell and was shattered. I felt like I'd been hit by a tsunami. It was my own fault, and once shattered there was nothing I could do but gather the remaining parts in hopes that they could be repaired. Two days ago I mentioned the value of forgiveness in relation to errors, mistakes, and accidents. And in the vast scheme of things, to do relatively small damage in relation to all the vast range of worse things available to human beings at all points of the earth, the panel of shattered glass is something that can be made whole. I took it to my friend who made it, even though he is no longer doing stained glass, he said, "yes, I can fix that." While it felt for a time that I had been hit by a tsunami of my own making, having an understanding wife and friends who understand the value of mistakes, and that the connections between us are more important than the things in our lives is a lesson greater than most that we learn from the object world and the opportunities for learned-from mistakes that it offers.

Human beings have ways of drawing lessons from the events of our lives. We often learn about what things are important through lessons of forgiveness. Some people argue that schools have done too much to push the sense of self esteem, that it should not be constantly assured like one would regulate the levels of a thermostat. I would say that there needs to be lots of testing and making of things so that things can go wrong, so that we may all learn the lessons that matter most. Schools should be something like real life if we want our children to be attentive within them. There is no better lesson than to be knocked flat by a tsunami of your own making and be picked up by friends.

Make, FIX, and create, and be thankful for those around you who sustain your creative spirit.

Toysmith, in a comment below offers an article (worth reading) that reflects on error, mistakes, and our humanity in making them. The Wrong Stuff.

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