Wednesday, 31 August 2016

I was ashamed...

Hi there!
Nice to see you - to see you nice!

This is the day we talk about not so much how we craft, 
but why we craft - about deep-seated matters in our lives.
Have been waiting to chat to you today about something 
which I experienced on Monday.

Dave and I went out for the day, to Herstmonceux Castle. 
Lovely place!

It was a Medieval Festival, 
and what fun to see the kids all dressed up.

And the grown-ups.

Much hilarity and mud. 
Reminded me of Glastonbury!!

There was a lovely French lady called Jodie,
 who was teaching Calligraphy;
a skill which I have always wanted to master, 
but which has always eluded me.

So I sat myself down to give it a go, as they say!

It isn’t as easy as it looks!
My guess is hours of practice, like parchment art.

BARBARA no problem - all the same letters!
The name Dave was a stickler, because there was no V !

Jodie asked me if I was an artist, 
because I had a very confident hand.
Confident maybe, 
but very detached from the part of my brain which drives the Calligraphy train!

She was distracted by a paying customer, 
so I carried on alone, copying the UNCIAL letters.
And here’s the moment I want to talk to you about today.
It’s pathetic, but it speaks volumes. 

My M went really wrong, so I tried to correct it, 
and promptly made an even bigger mess.
Definitely not an M. 

She had praised me and patted me on the back,
and said “Perfect” several times; and here I was, 
left to my own devices for a split second -
and what a hash up!!

I could see Jodie coming towards me to check on me, 
and I was filled with what can only be described as panic.
I quickly covered the dodgy M up with my hand, 
so she wouldn’t see it.

And then it hit me.
I was ashamed.
 W H A T ????
It was the knee-jerk reaction, 
the wanting to hide my less than perfect letter from the teacher, 
the judge.

And I laughed out loud.
57 years old, sitting in a tent in a field in 2016,
surrounded by people dressed up as medieval jesters,
and I am taking myself that seriously !!!!

But the emotion that I felt
 - the wave of shame, of embarrassment -
it really hit me,
 and instantly made me think of the Crowborough workshops.
There were several occasions during the weeks we spent there,
where people hid their work from me,
wouldn’t show it to others,
threw it away and asked to start again.

I would like to think that I handled those moments well,
allayed their feelings of insecurity and failure,
and helped them back onto the arty fun train with the others.

But today I just had to share with you 
my personal calligraphy moment 
in the craft tent.

In a split second, I went from shame to empathy. 
From cringing at my less than perfect M, to recalling those good people in Crowborough who sat in the very same seat. 

Pathetic, right? Nope. Very real.
And I would wager that most people reading this blog 
will know exactly what I am talking about.
In fact, fear of getting something wrong prevents the vast majority of people from even trying anything new in the first place.

There’s a little monkey on my shoulder, 
always telling me I’m rubbish.
So when I get something wrong, he loves it!
Does a little dance on my head and sings “Told Ya so!!!!”
right in my ear.

But this is no good!
I am not about to abandon the Art of Calligraphy 
just because I did a shitty M !!!
I may be tomorrow’s new M for Master of Calligraphy -
and I will never know, because I faltered at the M.

You’ll be pleased to hear I bought the Starter Kit!!

I don’t have to ask whether you understand me.
I KNOW you do.

Love & peace of Mind,