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.