drawing lines + risking things

I’d an idea a few days ago and thought ‘That might just work, I’ll give it a go…
And so the last few days have been spent trying to make this idea and see if it will work or look as cool as I imagined it might look.

It can be hard to have an idea  sometimes as the point when you see it in your head or imagine what it might look like, or the ideal way it would sound, or the ideal way it might come out is the best that it’s going to get. When you try to make the thing it usually looks nothing like you imagined in your head, or it sounds crap, or looks rubbish,  or won’t work.

Or maybe it would work if you kept at it or tried again and took your mistakes aboard and got help.

But sometimes you just get fed up because it was another example of something you tried hard to make work that didn’t work out the way you planned and all those hours you spent fiddling at it and trying to be careful and this mess or that song you don’t like is what you have to show for your work. It can be disheartening.

One of the main ways it goes wrong is in not knowing when to stop. You might have something you think is OK or at home with but then you think ‘Ah, but it could be better if I added this….‘ and before you know it you’ve gone too far and messed it up. You added too much paint, you’ve not taken enough care, or you just  didn’t care and just added something random and now it’s a pigs ear. G.K Chesterton is supposed to have said

‘Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.’

Is drawing the line the hardest part?

But on the other hand if we don’t ‘risk it for a biscuit‘ or if we settle for not taking risks and having a go then perhaps that is worse? I always think (and get a bit freaked out) by the parable of the talents and how the master treats the servant who buried his talents and played it safe.

This song covered by The Unthanks has been stuck in my head as well.

It’s about a man and his prized pigeon who he risks on big race from Rome.

‘There was gonna be a champions’ race from Italy
“Look at the maps, all that land and sea
Charlie, you’ll lose that bird”
But Charlie never heard
He put it in a basket and sent it off to Rome
On the day o’ the big race a storm blew in
A thousand birds were swept away and never seen again
“Charlie we told you so
Surely by now you know
When you’re living in the West End there ain’t many dreams come true”
“Yeah, I know, but I had to try
A man can crawl around or he can learn to fly
And if you live ’round here
The ground seems awful near
Sometimes I need a lift from victory”‘

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