Each moment is a place you’ve never been– Mark Strand
(an idea taken from a conversation with a friend about a difficult situation that made us both stronger)
It is difficult to get through an inspired life without making messes along the way. I hope none of us who have any passion for creative endeavor of any kind give up on inspiration because he or she loses the ability to deal with a little chaos every now and then. Chaos is often good for the soul, even if it is hard on the nerves. Nerves will recover to be shaken again. The soul is what we count on to keep us truly living.
At the place of uncertainty, in the presence of mystery, faced with doubt, after all the towers of sand have fallen, that is where a truly creative person sees the mess as raw material for a new project, and begins to piece a new puzzle from the old pieces. Nothing is completely new and or completely lost. So much more is possible than we can see from the scene of disaster. That is the time to make a beginning of a new work. Only by moving, gathering and building can we get to a place where the jumble of the present moment starts to make some sense. We must not stop after the collapse, crying in a heap of regret. Mourning must pass. Only by moving and gathering up the useful bits can we see what we have learned.
So how do we teach our children with prepackaged units and step by step instruction that is cleaned up and sterilized, to be creative thinkers? We must allow them to make mistakes and look at the mess. The trick is to do it so they don’t hurt or maim themselves in the process. That is a hard balance to make. We want our children to be safe and pain free, but they need experiences that might be a little scary for us and them in order to deal with the chaos of the world and be able to move forward through uncertainties with some confidence of figuring things out in the end.