Thursday, April 7, 2011

Do something wrong today

I’ve taken up meditation again. I’ve meditated off and on since the early seventies, when I learned at the foot of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. At least that’s my recollection and I’m going with it. If you doubt that the Maharishi himself was at the University of Washington in the spring of 1970, I hear ya. But that’s my memory.

The thing about meditation is that there is no such thing as a bad meditation. Even a session where my mind is constantly wandering over to that god-awful noise across the street (removal of giant tree stumps) to what’s for breakfast (berries and cereal), still produces a calm inside me that lasts the entire day.

There is no such thing as a bad quilt either. We may not think our points match well enough or that the red is not quite the right shade but the kid that receives it or the quilt show go-er that admires it, see something else. One of the worst technical quilts I ever made (it was the early nineties and I used cheap fabric) is beloved by my niece.

There is no such thing as bad writing. I mean, there is. I write it every day. But the only way to get to good reading is to write the awful stuff.

That is the lesson i need to learn again and again. Perfection is not an option. Not even close. We can hone our skills. We can learn to stay with our breath. We can learn to make a perfectly straight seam. We can learn to construct a heartfelt story. But the only way we learn is by doing it wrong.

What have you done wrong lately?


Monica Ferris said...

I know what you mean by doing it wrong, Terri. When I give talks to people who want to write I say, "You must write a million words of trash, of unsellable tripe, before you can write something you can sell. So get started."

Prairiedog said...

I have eaten the wrong things for my health, I have believed that I will live long enough to use up all my fabric, I have bought things I thought I wanted, but regretted it later. Things I have done right, read books by Terri and Monica and all the other Killer Hobbies writers. Today, I hope to get a few things done without doing them too wrong. Love your blog, ladies.

Terri Thayer said...

Good advice, Monica.

You're right in our book, Prairiedog! A fabric stash will keep us living a long, long life, won't it!

Betty Hechtman said...

If you need help meditating, try crocheting something plain and repetitve - like a single crocheted scarf. I find it takes me right to that zone.