Friday, April 13, 2012

Fail Club

A woman from my book group at church has started “Fail Club”. Here’s the description:

The Fail Club is a chance to admit to or devise a goal which may seem impossible, or at which you have already failed. Perhaps you are a hippopotamus and want to learn ballet? This is a place to voice a hope and, regardless of success, receive encouragement. We shall not fear failure, in fact we will befriend it together. 

I, of course, immediately signed up.

I’ve realized I’m not comfortable with actually naming my monstrous fat ambition*, so for now I’ll just say that it has to do with quilts, and art-making, and writing about art and quilts. I imagine I’ll also have a better sense of what exactly I’m trying to do as I keep moving in that direction.

I have, however, come up with a very nice list of reasons why it’s ridiculous to even consider doing so.

  1. Despite my degree in art history, I have not been part of any kind of serious artistic discussion in almost 20 years. But I read about art and visit museums, and just this week had lunch with two different people to talk about art, and have a list of others to reach out to.
  2. I have two children under the age of four and typically have almost no time to myself in a day. Except for my commute, or in the early morning, or when The Dude makes a point of taking them. And this will change as they get older as well.
  3. My artistic production over the last years has been haphazard at best. But I have been consistently working over the last two years, even if slowly, and have been doing enough to feel that I am learning and developing as an artist.
  4. I am an absolute beginner when it comes to working with fabric. True, but the only way to change that is to keep going.
  5. I haven’t found many people working in a way that feels simpatico to what I’m fumbling towards. But I have found a few and will keep looking.
  6. I very much fear how others will see me. The one quilter that I know in person works in a manner hugely different than I do. But that is only one person, and even looking at her work informs mine, if only in opposition to hers.
As I write out all my “good” reasons for thinking my ambition is ridiculous I am instead seeing how ridiculous these reasons are.

Guess I’ve got to keep going then.

*Or, my M.F.A., not to be confused with my “Secret Burning Ambition” (S.B.A.), which is running-related, and which seems farther and farther away as I continue to not get enough sleep.

A postscript. As I’ve been thinking about all this stuff over the last week, I’ve been coming up with more and more regrets about choices I’ve made (or rather, failed to make): in high school, college, graduate school… I think, in order to be able to move forward, I’m going to need to make a bit more peace with where I am, and possibly with who I was then. Maybe.

1 comment:

  1. For sure a good club name and goal to remember!