Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Do not be too timid or squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse, and you may get your coat soiled or torn. What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again; you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
I'm thinking about the timidity that comes up around trying new things, the squeamishness over not getting it right. As if we're supposed to know before we start; what we're going to write before we pick up the pen, know what we'll be when we grow up, how the performance will be received by the audience, exactly how the relationship is going to pan out before we get in too deep.
Recently I heard a woman speaking lovingly about failure. [I wish I could tell you who it was, but I can't remember.] I do remember that she was very clear that without it, beautiful failure, we'll never be fully be alive. We'll be too afraid to step into anything with both feet, the fear of tumbling and getting rolled in the dirt is too great a risk. So we stay put and wonder what might have been...
I wake up most days not knowing what the hell I'm doing or where I'm going. Yes, I feed my kid, I walk the dog, I teach a yoga class. I do things out in the world; I'm functional. But I'm feeling a deeper longing to try things on and truly allow my life to be an experiment. I'm not even sure what any of this means, but I keep wondering:
What might happen if I really lived each day like that?