The juggler has to take on just one more pin than he's completely comfortable with. The big song has to include the highest note the vocalist can hit. The performance has to take the performer and the audience to the edge of certainty.
I always refer to The Way of the Artist as dreaming big, doing the work and sharing the result.
After that big dream, when the work starts, risk is always present. There is always the possibility that it won't come together. Maybe you misjudged the value of the original idea or the level of your talent. Maybe there isn't enough time to make it happen.
Along with the work required to create, there is the battle within against doubt and uncertainty.
The bigger the risk, the bigger the chance for amazing art.
It's funny how easy it is nowadays for me to commit myself to something and then spend a good number of hours terrified that it won't come together. I'm referring specifically to email or other online communication. I send out messages way too soon after I get my big ideas.
This conference session feels like that sometimes. In the slow pace of a summer morning I read the call for proposals for miGoogle 2015. It was easy to dream up something big. I imagined the session I always wanted to attend and wrote and submitted a nice sounding description in no time. Within minutes, I also wrote three colleagues asking them to join me. I was pumped.
I'm still looking forward to the session, don't get me wrong. I still think it will be amazing.
But some unexpected things came up in the district this week. I've been busy with other projects. It all adds up to distraction. When I sit down now to work on the conference or to write this blog, it's way too easy to start to wonder what I got myself into. I wonder if it's going to work.
I admit that in weak moments, it scares me to the point where I want to bail. I start thinking of ways out. (I know by now there are no good options for escape from this one!)
When I stop to think about it, though, I'm glad for the doubt and the risk. It's a sign that it could be every bit the work of art I envisioned that morning. It's the possibility of failure that makes it exciting to give it a try. It's the anticipation that builds friendship among those of us presenting.
We're in it together and if it works, it will be something to tell about.
Just thinking about school...
When is the last time you experienced something like this with a lesson? What would it take to make more learning experiences like this?
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photo credit: Karl Saliter via photopin (license)