Sometimes getting it right means doing it a few times.
Sometimes getting it right means re-doing it a few times
Sometimes getting it right means starting all over from the beginning.
There are those "other" times, those wonderful occasions when getting it right happens the first time through, and you can be sure that I celebrate those moments.
This frothy, cabled piece of mauve fluff is one front of a cardigan that I've been working on for a few weeks. The back, the sleeves, even a very complex collar, just poured out from beneath my needles, but the 2 fronts, were just not that cooperative. This is the left front. It is now finished, but I started and almost finished it 3X before this version you see, and the right front has had much the same journey.
Sometimes we just don't get it right: with a project, with a friend, with a partner, with a business, with a guess, or even a particular path we have chosen to venture down. Sometimes, we have to keep trying, sometimes we need to look at it from a different perspective and there are those times we choose to just give up.
I remember when my grandmother first started to teach me to knit, and I wanted to do something fabulous and she said a scarf and just plain garter stitch rows was the place to start. I was so disappointed. I had visions of a cabled hat and matching mittens, or a poncho (it was the 70s after all) with just the right length of fringe. But I started with a scarf, and yet, even with the easiest of stitches and acres of knitting back and forth across my needles, I made mistakes, I dropped stitches and created holes and as the 10 year old I was, I ended up throwing it in a corner and howling at that pile of wool and sticks.
I could envision what I wanted but my hands couldn't yet take me there.
As you can see, I did pick up my ball of wool and sticks and try again. I tried again many many times until I started getting it "more" right each time I tried. And with each try I managed to garner more patience for my fumbling fingers and my klutzy hands, until they were less klutzy and fumbling.
So, these cardigan fronts made me think about some of the things I have set aside because I couldn't get them "right": the projects I have started and re-started, the canvases I have painted over and started again, or left languishing long enough that I now have the solution I needed months or years before.
There is a phrase that I found totally annoying: practice makes perfect. It is really more true than I sometimes want to see. Sometimes much of the "doing" we are participating in is all about the practice. Sometimes a painting that is started 3, 4, or 16 times gets you to a place where you had only dreamed of going. Sometimes going back to that work project again and again gets you further along a path that you have wanted to venture down. And not just sometimes but very often, practicing to make it right with the people in our lives gets us more deeply in touch with them and also with our own selves.
So, getting it right really may be all about practicing until the moment arrives that it (whatever the it is) actually feels right. And then, hmmm.... my mind leaps to: perhaps those rare moments when we feel that we have gotten it right the very first time really are not so miraculous. Perhaps the first time wins have their grounding in practice we haven't even realised we were doing.
What are you practicing these days?