Thursday, 27 March 2014

An Eggs-cellent Lesson

I'm borrowing from King Solomon today and noting that "There is nothing new under the sun."  As someone who feels an almost aching need to create, to express my thoughts and ideas in a variety of mediums though most often words or images, this can be a little discouraging.  How can one be an artist if everything has been done before?  The internet is a wonderful thing for many reasons and it opens up the world to people, but it also quickly shows you that the brilliant idea you  just had while lying in the bathtub, has already been thought of and presented by someone else.  And probably someone else before that. How does one not just give up and stop trying?

I think the answer is that while it has been done before it has not been done by you.  Or it has not been done by me.  Striving to be first at something may be an exercise in futility, but striving to be your true self is your own form of creative expression.  Every day you get up and you are who you are that day.  You see the world, interact with the world and represent the world your way.  Some will think you are fabulous and some will think you are awful.  Perhaps the worst is that some will think you are mediocre.  Ignore all that.  The hard part is that in order to ignore at least some of the criticism you have to ignore at least some of the admiration.  Too much criticism and you may never get going.  Too much admiration and you may stagnate.  Beware of taking both too seriously.

When I was married my husband was the family omelette expert. He made us delicious breakfasts of bacon and fried potatoes and omelettes.  I had never made an omelette before and although I was a good cook in many ways, the omelette intimidated me.  There was already an expert in the house.  How could I possibly do a good job?

Years later, while living on my own, I was up to my usual trick of multi-tasking a little bit too much.  I thought I was clever enough to start some scrambled eggs and then go and check on the laundry.   I got the eggs started and on the stove at low heat.  My intention was to go and put the clothes into the dryer and then come back to stir the eggs.  Of course I forgot.  I got out the vacuum cleaner.  Something had caught my eye and it was crucial that I vacuum it up that instant.  I forgot all about my eggs.  I forgot about them for about 15 minutes.  Remembering them suddenly, I ran down the hall to the kitchen, frightening the cat into hiding under the table.  I looked at my eggs and saw what  looked an awful lot like an omelette ready to be folded.

I added mushrooms and some cheese and got out two spatulas and carefully folded it, holding my breath all the while.  It worked!  Soon I was sitting down to eat what was the most delicious omelette I had ever tasted.  Now I make omelettes all the time and sometimes they are a bit of a broken mess, but they still taste damn good.  Mushroom, spinach and feta is my house specialty.
What I learned from the omelette will be obvious.  You saw it coming, but it's always so easy to see what everyone else is doing wrong while we get stuck in our own patterns and mistaken thoughts.

Get up every day and be you.  That may not be effortless but fear not!  It's the trying that matters.  Anything that is worthwhile won't be effortless and in the process you may achieve something you hadn't expected, an omelette perhaps.  I'll end with a quote because I began with one and I like my omelettes and my blogs cheesy. 

                            The record shows I took the blows
                            And did it my way

                            -Paul Anka 

Thank You.   You've been  wonderful audience.  Good night!

19 comments:

  1. You are free to ignore it, but this is just brilliant. I loved every word! I recognize myself in multitasking story. Some best things happen spontaneously, maybe even ALL best things happen spontaneously. Isn't it the whole point of living? Just to be ourselves (everyone else is taken anyway). Thank you, Shawna! Hugses and loveses! :)

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  2. LOL Thank you for your kind compliment and the Oscar Wilde quote. :-) I am going to get a very swelled head so it must be time for a reader to show up and be critical just to balance me out. Or I could make a deal with you and I will accept all praise from you and find someone else to ignore. ;-)
    xo

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  3. *Comme d'habitude is a French chanson by Claude François, Jacques and Gilles Thibault Revaux from the year 1967. With one of Paul Anka in 1968 written English text, it became world famous under the title My Way by Frank Sinatra.*
    (wikipedia)
    :-) could not resist to improve a teacher....
    you are sooo right with your observations here. it may not look like but i struggle often by thinking "why should i do it - other can do it with more success". thank goddess i have a very supporting husband. (if i only had meet him earlier in my live!). for example: i was sure i´m unable to write "a text". (i have problems to explain things). but he sat down with me and helped with the blog template. he said i have so much to say and show and it´s unique - i should just do it. and because it costs no money to run a blog i have no fear to miss success. is there a altar for the inventor of blogging to burn a candle there?
    thank you for your support in form of your posts, comments, and comments on my comments....
    xxxx

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    1. 1967 was a very good year. It was the year in which I was born. Perhaps that's why I didn't know about Claude and Jacques and Gilles. I was too busy doing baby things. Thank you for improving me! I prefer to think of myself as a life long learner much more than as a teacher.

      I'm very glad your husband encouraged you to blog. It was reading other blogs and seeing that others had taken on topics that I was thinking of writing about, that inspired this theme of nothing new, so I can relate to your questioning why you should blog. I like to express myself in visual art and in words. I would write even if nobody showed up to read it, but I am awfully glad some people do.
      xo

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    2. oh I meant to say, the lyrics to the English version of the song were actually composed by Paul Anka. I had forgotten that but amended it on the blog. He's Canadian so I should have remembered that!

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  4. Hahaha, cheesy blog :D I agree 100%! There are so many people on the planet, it's hard to think of something NEW that hasn't been already made :D But even if you reuse old ideas, you can always place your own signature, your own way of doing it, which is more than enough! :)

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    1. Yes, exactly. The take home message here is do it your way and eat some cheese!
      xo

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  5. I agree completely with your assessment of expression. It's how I think of art: people can make the same project or idea, but as the inspiration makes its way from the inside of a person out, it gets shaped and flavored by the person's experience, personality, and so on. You watch an art class all do one assigned project and come out with completely unique pieces and it's captivating.

    Thank you for your lovely and thoughtful comments on my blog. It's an honor to have you stop by, and I've seen your words crop up on a number of blogs I read, and I am always impressed. I'm so glad you joined the blogging community!

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    1. I'm so glad you dropped in! Let's have a mutual admiration party. I always enjoy your blog and admire your style.

      I loved teaching art to children and letting them explore their own style and their own differing ways of interpreting the projects I gave them. The only problem with an art class is that it allows students to compare themselves with others negatively. They look around and think oh I can't do what so and so is doing so I just won't try. That always broke my heart.

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    2. It can also go the other way with gifted children - trying to fit in, they copy what majority of people do... I just keep my fingers crossed that at some point, we all will figure this stuff out and stop comparing ourselves either way, and just be as unique as we actually all are. :)

      I told Justin on numerous occasions that if all elementary school teachers were like you, our kids would be in such good hands. :) It blows my mind that you were a teacher. You are such a poet and philosopher, and artist... There are no many teachers like you, that's for sure.

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    3. Yes, I have seen that too, with children just wanting to fit in. I sometimes wonder if, because our culture esteems individuality and there is much emphasis on it, that there is too much pressure to be special or unique and people get caught up in that.

      Thank you for the sweet compliment. There are many things I miss about teaching and I enjoyed my students of all ages. More than anything I miss that connection I had. I still see past students around town and some approach me to tell me how much they loved being in my class. I will treasure that always.

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  6. This was such a sweet post! And so very true! I feel that way about outfit posts, I will never have the time/money/talent to have beautiful photo shoots, but I have become less intimidated by the blogging world and am now having fun :) Now, come make me an omelette, I love omelettes! ;)

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    1. I enjoy your blog and I think that is largely because it is so charmingly you. You share little bits of your life, you have a fun personal style and you are adorable. I'm glad you took the plunge and are having fun with it. I am too. It will take me about four days to get to you by car so eat something in the meantime while you are waiting for me to come and make that omelette.
      xo

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  7. Goodness, I could never take myself too seriously, having a laugh at yourself is a good thing! what I find interesting is how we all can share one idea and take it many different ways, creativity is a wonderful thing! It's lovely to pop over too x x x

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    1. Thanks so much for popping in! I agree with you, and enjoy the richness there is to be found in many people taking on the same idea! :-)

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  8. Thank you so much for visiting and for your lovely comment! I do in fact own a pair of perfect ruby slippers!!!! I was just looking at them earlier, thinking it's been a while since I wore them!!!
    Now, I have often been daunted by the very fact that any idea I have ever had, or will have, has already been done to death; King Solomon is quite correct, there IS nothing new!!! Just new ways of looking at them I guess.
    Indeed, just being oneself is so vital, but it can be equally daunting at times. This is a lovely post, and we all need to be reminded frequently to just keep our own flame burning bright!
    XXX

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  9. Thank you for visiting! I look forward to seeing you in your ruby slippers.
    Yes, I am sometimes daunted too, when I have an idea and then come across someone else with the same idea and I think, oh maybe this person has presented it better than I would. I am learning to just go ahead with it anyway. If I think of all the artists who painted using realism or impressionism, expressionism cubism or fauvism and even if several of them were doing the same -ism they were doing it their own way. None of us can help being influenced by what goes on around us.

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  10. You hooked me with your line about feeling an aching need to create. I do identify. As a classical musician we would have nothing to do if we didn't try to put our own spin on a piece that was played by someone else! Although I do find with my art and poetry, I have such a different voice people don't usually get it. That's the flip side!

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  11. Hi! Thanks for visiting. That's a very good point about the classical music. If your art and poetry is so different people don't get it, you must be managing something original there! Good for you. I don't get a lot of enthusiasm about my paintings, except for my sweet blogging friends, and I don't share my poetry with anyone so I have no idea if anyone gets it or not. Keep on using your own voice. Somebody will get it someday!

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