Archive for September, 2015

Oh, Those Beautiful Cracks!

Cracks. Flaws. Imperfections. There’s something a little unnerving about the aberrations in our human packaging. In an age of achieving flawlessness, there’s a countermovement that embraces all that truly makes us human…that we are creative, explorers, adventurers and learners. That we can’t succeed without falling down. I personally believe there is no such thing as failure. There’s no “bad” experience, no hurt, no scar, no sadness or anger that doesn’t have its amazing counterpart – a lived life!!

How does this apply to art? As I began my fall session of classes last week, I connected with an amazing array of students who all want to tap into their creativity but fear the unknown, the misplaced brush stroke, the inevitable paint outside the lines. There is embedded in that a fear of expressing oneself,  in such a vulnerable way that, risking rejection. There’s that voice that says “it’s not good enough.” But it’s the process, and those happy accidents that can allow a work of art to sing.

We over-think, over-judge and try to hide the cracks, or fill them in. But then we would just live flat lives. No nubbins, no texture, no space over which to leap and fly and stumble and get dirty. And no art to share, to inspire and provide the freedom of play.

Be grateful for those cracks, remember that’s how the light gets in!!

Here’s a story via Tracy Verdugo’s Paint Mojo site that really gets to the point. Beautiful story, beautiful reminder…

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each one hung on opposite ends of a pole, which she carried across her shoulders and neck.

One of the pots had a small crack in it. While the other pot was perfect, and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the river to her mistress’s house, the cracked pot always arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to her master’s house.

The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, but the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it thought to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream: “I am so ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”

Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”

“for these past two years, I have only been able to deliver half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your mistress’s house. Because of my flaws, you do all of this work without getting full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in her compassion she said, “As we return to the mistress’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

As they reached their destination the bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path?

“That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them.

“For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my mistress’s table. Without you being just the way you are, she would not have this beauty to grace her house.”

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