July 2011 - I ask the question, "what do I write" not because I have no idea what to write here (we'll that's not true, I don't know what I am going to write specifically...truth be told I just dive in and hope it makes sense when it is done), it was a question I asked myself in a panicked moment last week.
I stopped by one of my local bead stores, Beads and Beyond, to pick up a missing piece to a birthday gift. As you can imagine, having owned a bead shop for 7 years, I have A LOT of beads. And having a 6-year-old daughter, you can imagine, I have A LOT of birthday parties to go to. So right now, the stars are aligned. Little girls like little beads, so I'm golden for a few more years, or at least until my son starts school.
So there I was, standing in the store and a darling friend of mine (and well-loved instructor there) says, "Hey! We got your book in yesterday....here, sign them all." I have to say, at that moment, I was flattered. It was the first time I had seen my book in a store. Their lovely employees had looked at it the night before and were asking questions. Just when the "warm and fuzzies" came over me...I panicked. WHAT DO I WRITE?
I had to think quick. In the car, I had a husband, 2 kids and our brand new dog Sunny (who could be the subject of an entire blog in itself) and we were all on our way for a quick picnic before the aforementioned birthday party pony extravaganza. Now, I have to admit, signing a book suddenly felt cheesy. I had to think about how to make it meaningful. If I just put my name, well...people might think I was phoning it in (if that makes sense). If I put what I was thinking ("OMG, I can't believe you are buying my book and want me to sign it, thank you, thank you! Forever grateful, Melissa Cable") well, that had a desperate, perhaps not so confident tone to it. So perhaps I should pass along some wisdom? I had none...every ounce of wisdom had been squeezed out of me just in writing the book! Perhaps something funny. Well, I'm not that clever on the fly.
I glanced nervously down at my phone, surprised to see only a minute had passed. And then I saw it...my Facebook page. I remembered spending a great deal of time deciding what I was going to write in that little box they title "About." I wrote "Create recklessly, teach thoughtfully." And there it was. "Create recklessly!" THAT is what I would write.
So I am telling you this story for two reasons (When blogging, I am not known for my brevity, so hang in there with me). First, if you happen to pick up a book I've signed, now you will know how much thought actually went into what I wrote. Second, it allows me to explain what I mean by "create recklessly"...which is something I had promised to do in one of my very first blogs, but then got sidetracked by a Butter Chicken recipe....mmmmm, Butter Chicken....
I had come across a definition of reckless while I was writing the book. I was trying to explain why I had broken 5 pasta machines in my pursuit of creating my "poor-man's rolling mill" technique. The definition read: "utterlyunconcernedabout theconsequencesofsomeaction." I remembered it made me laugh. This is exactly how I create. I rarely create a new project or technique by methodically performing a series of actions that result in a planned outcome. I WANT my actions to have consequences that I don't expect. I like the challenge of seeing what unexpected things happens when I push a material or tool beyond what it is "supposed" to do. This, I might add, is quite contrary to the way in which I live my everyday life. I didn't get my first traffic ticket until I was nearly 40, I don't talk on my cell phone at the gas pump because I am sure it will blow me up (the sign says so), and I have disaster kits in all my cars and at both exits to my home. Yeah, I've been a rule follower most of my life.
But maybe that's what "creating" is about for many of us...pushing ourselves to do something outside of our normal sensibilities. So for me, that's allowing myself to be a little reckless. For you? Maybe its using color when you usually prefer black and brown. Or maybe it means using an alternative material when you are used to working with only metal. Each and every one of us will have a different definition of "reckless." So go ahead, define what reckless creation means to you...and then do it! You might be surprised where it takes you.