September: On misdemeanours, imperfection, and hoping to learn from my mistakes...one day
"If you can sit quietly after difficult news;
if in financial downturns you remain perfectly calm;
if you can see your neighbours travel to fantastic places without a twinge of jealousy;
if you can happily eat whatever is put on your plate;
if you can fall asleep after a day of running around without a drink or a pill;
if you can always find contentment just where you are:
you are probably a dog."
After this months unfortunate incident I found myself ruminating on the above quote, sent to me by email from a friend who unknowingly provided great comfort for my fragile ego after I managed to drive into a stationary object...again. My evening had started so well, in the highest of spirits I was driving home in a van, music on, singing out loud, when the dreaded “CRUNCH” of metal on metal occurred, what an awful sound.
It seems that, while merrily bopping along to David Bowie, a gate post which had never bothered me before, suddenly decided to put on some red shoes and dance the blues straight into the side of the van. Darn you David Bowie and your distracting, catchy, tunes.
The van and my ego were equally dented.
On confessing (crying) to my ever patient and understanding husband (how does he do it?), who had recently purchased the no longer white and shiny new van, I noticed my own internal struggle with my lack of perfection. Ohhhh the disappointment. He reminded me that this was not the first time I have driven into a gate, in a costly vehicle. Hmphhhh.
While I certainly know there are many worse things I could do, and sure...there are many worse things that I have done. I still lay in bed that night thinking, ‘why is it so hard to acknowledge my own flaws?’ And ‘why does it bother me so much when I get things a bit wrong?’. Perhaps it is the mistakes we make that make us human, or, are part of being human at least. I guess mistakes, by definition, are not intentional, but that doesn’t make them any easier to digest. One good thing however is that they do give us something to learn from, in theory (whilst mentally counting all my vehicle based misdemeanours). But what was really keeping me up, what I was really suffering with, wasn’t so much the mistake I realised, but my poor dented ego.
When we understand the ego, and how ego operates, we understand ourselves better. The ego, in Freudian terms is part of our psyche, in psychoanalytic terms and much philosophical thinking it’s related to our attachment to ourselves. And I am really quite attached to the idea of being fabulously good at driving, despite the reality.
The above quote which mercifully popped into my mind at that point of realisation, helped provide some balance. With a welcome chuckle, I concluded in a matter of fact manner: “I am not a contented dog (though I know a few), I am not enlightened (though I have suspicions my husband is), I am Chloe, and I drive into stationary objects from time to time.” And with that I managed to get some much needed sleep.
In other news, sessions have resumed at the Treehouse! Here are some recent snaps of the individual art kits provided for each client and the studio space and setting...