Earlier today, I was delighted by the sweet peas growing in my garden. I stopped to admire the risks they take. Each day, they send out little feelers not knowing whether they will find anything to cling to. Yet they remain faithful that their little hands will grasp something and allow them to stretch up. Again they will reach out and stretch up. Over and over until they catch the sun.
And then they flower.
Radiant flowers. Red. Lavender. White. Magenta. A sunlit celebration of colour. Risks worth taking.
The apparently haphazard way that they climb and bend and reach reminds me of an excerpt from David Bayles and Ted Orland’s book Art and Fear:
The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pounds of pots rates an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an “A”. Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busy churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.
|Radiant in my garden.|