There is a certain wisdom in harvesting low growing fruit however if that’s all you do, sooner or later you’ll forget how to climb trees, forget the triumph of getting to the top despite the risks along the way. Your ability to stretch up and out will atrophy over time and all you will be left with is low growing fruit which is nowhere near as ripe and sweet and the fruit at the top of the tree . . . that fruit will be left to the ones who are brave enough scale the trees and those wonders who can fly.
A second problem arising from indulging in low growing fruit is that you get used to a varied diet . . . a menu dégustation or tasting menu is delightful however not a way to eat for life. Being able to do a lot of things in a mediocre way is not, I imagine, as satisfying as being able to do one or two things really well. And before there are objections about my work not being mediocre, that is my opinion based on how easy the result has been, the effort, the practise it required, and while compliments and admiration is lovely I want to feel I have worked hard for something I am satisfied with. Yes, there’s a perfectionist streak which, for the most part, I keep in check . . . but I won’t give up high standards for my work.
Focussing on a few things won’t mean I lose my range of skills, not does it mean ‘ll never exercise them again but for years I’ve fed low growing fruit, often because I’ve squeezed in time or the financial ability to indulge in what I want and sometimes because I’ve been scared to push myself, however lately, I’ve wanted to stretch up higher and find sweeter options. Which fruit are my favourite though? I don’t really have favourite colours, types of music etc. I like variety!
While I thought I might sort out, finally, what I want to focus on during the completion of a diploma over the next two years, it just wasn’t going to work for me. The alternative was an accountability partner. Someone who would help to keep me on track, working to a plan, and because they receive my reports of triumph and stumbles, that will keep me honest with myself.
I’m really fortunate that one of my talented friends, Trisha Findlay, has offered to take on the task and for two weeks I have done most of what out set out to do. I plan (too much) for the week, write my objectives, review them the following week and write more. To reach my goal (the top of a tree) I’ve decided to start by spending part of my time clearing away some of the underbrush, the unfinished work that is weighing me down and part of the week doing some work from Experimental Textiles by Kim Thittichai. I have the book from the library and want to do some work from it to get some ideas flowing before I need to return it . . . how I would love to attend that course but unfortunately I’m half a world away.
Next up, and it is up, through the branches, getting the odd scratch, snagging my clothes, will be more of this earlier experiment . . .
. . . among other things of course, after all, it is a while since I did much tree climbing.
Climb high mum
And hold tight.
Wendy – You sound so positive! This seems to be a wonderful direction for you! Kathy
I have such wonderful friends.
enjoy both the flying magical amazement when you get it right & the amazing sense of freedom that comes when a piece doesn’t work & sets your hands, heart and soul free
here’s a link to Michael Leunig’s “Into the Unknown” wonderfully wry words about process –
Thank you so much for the link Mo . . . I hope others see it as well. And I I do love a challenge, the problem-solving, the partial successes, the hair-brained ideas that will never work in one guise but will in another . . . the easy roads are for holidays.
Love both the literal and metaphorical messages here. Low-hanging fruit is a great place to start, but oh, that stretching and reaching!
Sometimes I find a BFO, Blinding Flash of the Obvious, in metaphors and the metaphor can arise when I’d doing something quite unrelated as happened this time. My brain just seems to grab hold of one, mess around with it and apply it to other contexts.
Onwards and upwards–pick those plums!
And it’s the right season for plums here!
love the mesh – is that using threads/crochet?
It’s a very open-weave muslin with machine stitching Kay . . . glad you like it.
Love this post. I have done Experimental Textiles and it was wonderful, but the book really is the course and with your accountability friend I’m sure you will fly. I also have a brain that does metaphors at the most unlikely moments, but I like this fruity one! Onwards and upwards..
Hi Rachel, I’ve had Kim’s books from the library so many times that I really should buy at least one! I’ve done some work from ET so I might buy hot Textiles even though I seem to be getting interested in encaustic techniques . . .
and the cloth will be the safety net below!
Working without a net might be a bit risky and although I need to take some risks . . . I’ll work with a net.
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