Reviving the Spirit of the Amateur
I would never go back. In this world, my duties aren’t relegated to a kitchen, unless I choose so. In this world, the state of my uterus does not determine my status. In this world, my voice has a vote. Yet, lives that have passed hold lessons for today.
In the advent of sharing and connection, we have left behind the amateur and the leisurely hobbiest. Fearing public humiliation and mean spirits, it can be easier to leave experimentation behind for the pursuit of something more promising. We expect to be good, even great.
I live next to a talented pianist. I’ve never met this neighbor, but I’ve heard the music through the wall. This talented musician seems to have picked up a trumpet with much less finesse. So, I've also heard the sounds of a squealing cat. Maybe they will get better, and maybe the won’t.
Being “bad" at something that you love to do also holds an important lesson. It unlocks humility, an ability to take yourself less seriously and opens the door to meaningful risks.
To demonstrate, let the lady who loves to write (and has zero poetry chops) compose a tiny poem:
The crispness of fall
Comes soon to hold your head in its lap.
Comfort’s cradle sits here as frost arrives.
Follow the leaves,
And amend the presence you brought yore.
Lay not bare, but new for winter breezes to attack.
Cleared for beginnings,
follow one little snowflake’s path.
And marvel, that is the only one like it.
So there it is: punctuation misplaced and any sense of purpose totally absent. That’s all. There is nothing more. And isn't that the truth anyways?