Be Willing to Fail and Try Again

Collage work: My 5 Stages of Grief Journal

I am down to the last ten pages or so in the 5 Stages of Grief journal. It has been four months since my father passed away, and this journal has been the place where I am expressing our grief through paper, ink and collage. This is the beginning of the cover. It is paper scraps covered with rice paper glued over it. The rice paper becomes transparent when it gets wet, so it allows the elements underneath to peek through to add dimension. When the journal is complete my husband is going to make a sleeve for it, to store it upright in our library.

I have to chalk this one up to experimentation. I did not know exactly what was going to happen once I added the rice paper. I like the effect and plan to duplicate it for the back cover. Sometimes experiments work, even if not exactly as we planned, that’s why they are called experiments. I must admit that the paper scrap underneath the rice were were not what I wanted, so adding another layer “corrected” what I thought was bland and turned it into something special.

When was the last time you experimented and did not like the outcome? It can be so very disappointing to have put in all that work and then be less than pleased with the outcome. I think that is sometime why people do not experiment, not willing to fail. It is tough to regroup, alter or fix, or even chuck the whole thing and begin again. The energy that was there when you started no longer exists, so it means taking a deep breath and experimenting again. Easier said than done. I know, I have a pile of pages I’ve done that staring me in the face waiting to be revisited.

The great news about trying and failing, is that when you do get to the point that you fixed it all and like the outcome, WOW! How good it feels to have triumphed! What a great way to learn, grow, and how satisfying to have won in the shadow of disappointment. We will never feel that glory if we do not give it a go and risk failure, disaster or disappointment.

All that being said, my lesson this week is be willing to fail and try again. Which means allowing things to go badly, realize the badness, then mustering the courage to do the work to correct it.

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