Above image is a segment of Zen Pencils- SYLVIA PLATH: The fig tree
It is through falling that one learns to fly.
It is through fruit salad that one learns to appreciate and understand the fickle mistress named success.
All my life I yearned to be an artist; not a artist in the sense of wine, cheese and silent murmurings in hushed galleries. I yearned to become an actress, a painter, a writer, an graphic artist, a dancer. But, to be human is to know and be paralyzed with fear…even if the fear is within one’s head and poisoning the waters within one’s soul. We are pack animals, and to reprogram one’s mind to not see immediate glory from the pack is a life time of struggle.
As you read this, there is a small voice in your head, or your heart, that speaks about what it yearns, no, begs to do. Not talking about doing the dishes, your taxes or dropping off someone to mail their letters at the post office. There is a voice that wants to be the next Hemingway or Angelou. Maybe you want to be the next Skottie Young. Maybe Sagan or Degrasse Tyson. Maybe you just want to have a wife, a kid, a family. Whatever it is, you want to do something big but you’re always told:
– It’s too late.
– You’re too old.
– You’re not this ‘race’.
– You’re not this social class.
– You’re too *insert something here*.
I am in the same boat. I always think there is something wrong, but after reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, I’ve learned that our endeavors are at the center of a bitter battlefield between our Muses and our Resistance. Procrastination? Resistance. Nay saying? Resistance. Drama between you and someone or something? Resistance.
Last Sunday, I walked into my first Aerial and Acrobatics class. A 33 year old black chick with a big ol’ booty and the fear of a 5 year old walked into Versatile Arts and in 90 minutes, pushed herself to hang upside down on a trapeze, to fail climbing up silks with just the balls of her feet. In comparison to my yogi, acrobatic classmates, I had as much grace and coordination as a tap dancing duck. But after 90 minutes, I was hanging, I was pulling, I was swinging…and then, for a few seconds…I flew.
As I soared for a solitary second, resistance lost that day.
There’s a poignant comic on Zen Pencils that forever stuck to me. It portrayed a woman standing stoically in front of a fruit tree. Every piece of fruit represented a path she could walk and in despair, she sat under the tree, paralyzed with indecision. Sadly, the fruit fell, rotting at her feet. I guess I’m here to say, we’re all in the same position, but instead of watching the fruit rot, I’ll pick all that I like and making epic fruit salad. Maybe someone will not like my awesome sauce fruit salad, but I still made it and I’m eating it…and y’know…it tastes pretty damn good.
Won’t you put down your phone and join me? I promise a bowl may not help you fly right away, but you’ll fly sooner or later.