I didn’t want to write this blog. My friend Tia didn’t want to make her pendant either. It isn’t because I don’t like writing blogs; they’re totally absorbing. And Tia loves making jewelry. She can sit doing it for hours, happy as a clam.
But we still didn’t want to do it.
I think getting started is like plunging into that early-summer lake. Going in is breathtaking. Not in the, looking at the Grand Canyon, or gazing upon the Mona Lisa kind of way, but in the can’t breathe because my lungs are shriveling like a beached sea creature kind of way.
But, as is evidenced by the blog you are now reading, we jumped. After the requisite snacking, gabbing and pet-snuggling, we took the plunge. The gasping for breath, was inevitably followed by the flailing and thrashing of beginning - of not knowing what exactly what we were going to do, of starting, deciding it’s no good and starting again. We both felt clumsy because even with years of experience in our respective disciplines, we still didn’t know what we were going to do. I hated my first three attempts at the beginning paragraphs, they felt over-generalized and heavy. Tia doubted her design for the pendant she’s making, wanting to make something wearable, something that adequately expresses her love the gift-ee. We both wondered if our offerings are “good enough.”
We contemplated retreating from this vexing awkwardness to engage in conversations, cookie-eating and dog-cuddling. We did more than just contemplate, actually; we indulged with abandon. The chatting, snacking and dog-petting was lovely. Almost lovely enough that we considered abandoning our creative endeavors altogether – avoiding the cold waters for yet another day. Eventually though, the lake called us back. The siren-scolding of our better-selves goaded us until we went back, whimpering resignedly into the dark waters of not-knowing.
But then, the ungainly flailing slowly transformed itself into rhythmic strokes, and those, eventually, blessedly turned into progress. Tia got an idea to repurpose the stones from beautiful but rarely-worn necklace into the new pendant. I decided to skip directly to the second paragraph, and then replaced that one with the third paragraph, trusting that the beginning would find itself by the time I was done.
Things became interesting. The physically necessary reordering that happens in the minds of creators began to take hold. Tia played with different combinations of jewels and I finally had enough good sentences to start rearranging them into a coherent structure. We asked each other for opinions, each of us just ending up giving the other validation of what we already knew intuitively. We were both caught up in the worlds of our own creation.
At that point, there was no stopping us. For her, stones conjured themselves onto wire in joy-inducing patterns and for me, the sentences piled into paragraphs filled with meaning. We hummed along merrily, the sound of Frank Sinatra and the occasional random comment to sped us on our way.
Surprisingly, and it’s always surprising, even though it’s pretty much inevitable if you’re willing to just keep swimming, Tia finished her pendant and I edited the closing words on this blog. We gratefully/reluctantly climbed out onto dry land to eat our well-earned supreme pizza. Each of us resolving to remember the fun of the swim next time, not just the dread of the plunge.
We’re both glad we jumped.
What do you need to do to jump?