|photograph by Renee Griffin|
“Feel the fear and do it anyway.” – Jessica Swift*
This quote grabbed me by the collar and shook me to the bones. Not because it’s particularly poetic, but because I recognized the visceral truth in it. I will not presume to speak for others, but can only speak of my own experiences. Close inspection of those experiences made me realize that if there is no fear it is because I am entrenched in my comfort zone.
It is so much easier to walk the worn path than to blaze a new trail. But that worn trail will always end in mediocrity. I have no qualms singling out mediocrity in the world around me, but daring to decry my own is difficult. It’s so much easier to blame others- work, school, kids, little wild fires that need immediate attention. But what truly perpetuates mediocrity is fear: fear of failure, fear of discomfort, fear of criticism, fear of the unknown.
I read Jessica’s words and the critic within heard the challenge. I will embrace the fear and then, do it anyway. In the spirit of pushing my limits and quieting that dark doubt that fear induces, I bought a new set of water colors and ordered the ink sprays I’ve been secretly coveting for the past six months. And just to make sure that fear itself hears me, I will invite you to view my creations.
Don’t leave me hanging though, I want to hear from those of you who also hear the challenge. What are you inspired to do despite the nagging fears?
“Queen of Fork ‘n’ Cork” is one of my earliest forays into mixed media artwork. I created it at the culmination of a very ambitious collaborative effort to raise money for our elementary school . The canvas was a gift from several of us to our fearless leader, and I hope she doesn’t mind that I have shared it here with you.
Whatever you feel inspired to do this week, I hope you find beauty in the process. While undertaking the daunting task of staining our new wooden fence this past week, I set aside the irritation that stems from tedium to appreciate the beauty around me. The Bermuda is waking from its winter slumber, the forsythia have donned their spring attire, and the Bradford Pears have exploded in a shower of white. So don’t just feel the fear, feel the beauty.
Photograph by Renee Griffin.