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The Value of Mistakes

Jim Morrison once said “some of the worst mistakes in my life were haircuts”.

I can relate. I only wish every mistake were so simple. Hair grows back. Time passes. Corrections are made and all is right with the world. Or is it ?

As my niece and nephew were growing up, I drilled into their beautiful minds “there is no such thing as a mistake in art, only an opportunity”.  In art it’s easy enough to believe. A smudge here, a shading there and something new emerges. Maybe that’s why I love art so much. It is pliable. It is forgiving. It is all about evolving and transforming into something new. And it is effortless.

Some mistakes though are like spilled black ink on white carpet. Or a special glass that falls from the hand. There is no opportunity there. No do-over. Not really anyway. Of course, the Japanese have a saying about such things. I think they call it wabi-sabi.

” Wabi-sabi is a concept in traditional Japanese aesthetics constituting a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.” “(Wikipedia)
But even that doesn’t always imply that a mistake has been made. To my mind, a mistake is when you allow caution to hold you back. When you only go half way out of fear of what the ‘whole way’ may look like.
Rejection and temporary failure are much easier to bear than regret. I only regret the things I haven’t done.
Oh, and a few haircuts.
(My last one was just awful. )

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