Letting Go of the Expected

Ink on Rice Paper – Words: Sir James Fitzjames Stephens

It’s week thirty-one of our year long calligraphy challenge and the prompt this week was Notan, black and white. I stepped a bit a stray from the original Japanese concept in regards to black and white mirror images; I chose instead to think differently. I wanted to do something different even before I found this quote, which reads – originality consists more in thinking for yourself, not in thinking differently than other people – the perfect words for what I was thinking.

For fifty weeks we are given a different prompt, which is a lot of ideas and creativity for this small group. Usually when the prompt comes out I can see in my mind what the clear choice is for a piece of work. Then I think more about how I want to react to the prompt and what I want to do instead of thinking about creating what is expected. Then I have to figure out how to execute on my idea, which often ales multiple versions. I often have to remind myself that it is only a piece of paper and it doesn’t have to end up in the Louvre. When I let go of the expected I can truly be original.

I look back on my life and can see where I did what was expected and where I chose to be original. I can see where I played it safe, where I did what everyone else was doing, and where I made different decisions moving beyond the norm. No regrets in any of this simply grateful for the place where I have landed.

I takes guts to do what is original and unconventional. It takes courage to change your life and move beyond the point where you thought you knew it all and move towards the unknown. It takes stamina to keep getting back up even after you get knocked down for the umpteenth time. And it takes personal belief to know that you are on the right path for you even if that path is very different than the path for everyone else.

Maybe it is time all of us spend a bit more time thinking for ourselves instead of trying to just get through the days. Time is a gift we can never get back. Being able to change, grow and do things we want no matter what anyone else thinks is a miracle in this generic age of online living, posting and buying. Maybe instead of trying to be unlike everyone else we need to be comfortable enough to simply be our own, true selves.

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