Sunday, June 21, 2009

(Not) Following the rules

I was reading a book about drawing techniques, and I skimmed through several pages of exercises. In response to the instructions I said, "Nope, I'll just skip right to the fancy stuff." I wasn't interested in drawing squiggles and cross-hatching; in exercising my hand.

And then it dawned on me. I was disobeying, and in doing so, I was setting myself up for disaster.

"But those exercises aren't really for me, they're for people who really need the practice." Why did I feel like I didn't fit that category? And suddenly, a few other experiences passed before my eyes: piano lessons (I don't need arpeggios, I'll skip to the preludes), learning Greek (I don't need to study the charts, I'll skip ahead 10 chapters), cooking (that step seems unnecessary), etc.

It seemed that the only place where I had been destined to succeed was elementary school, where everything had been broken down in tasks. No multiplication without mastering addition. Those teachers know what they're talking about.

Now I break everything down into tasks myself. I teach myself things, according to the plans I devise. But I don't always follow the plans.

This is true of the spiritual side of things as well. Is it really that hard to figure out what our mission is in life? But we are always trying to take a shortcut...or maybe a long-cut, if we feel like procrastinating.

I still haven't done the drawing exercises.

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