This weekend I ran a half marathon. It was my sixth. The course was relatively easy and, despite the cold and rain, I had hoped to run a personal best. Sadly it turned out to be my personal worst, not time wise but in terms of disappointed expectations. I had struggled with diminished energy and achy muscles throughout the race and when I saw the clock at the finish line I was completely demoralized. Overcome with fatigue and a sudden urge to cry I found myself struggling to breathe. Fortunately oxygen from the paramedics on hand and the care of my close buddies recharged me and restored my equilibrium in short order.
This event did leave me wondering why I push myself so hard to achieve, whether it’s with running or, more commonly, with my art. Why do I give myself difficult challenges and why am I so hard on myself? How could a difference of five minutes in a two-hour race matter so much? Why do I continually place my work under the scrutiny and opinions of jurors? I think the hard truth is that I believe I have the capacity and possibility for great things and shouldn’t waste these. I’m not the type to think I could do better but never try. I have the confidence to try and risk failing. Yet at the core I also have a fragility and timidity that I battle, even though I know it is a part of me I must accept. I think we all have this duality of strength and fragility at the core of our beings. It is a balancing act we all play out. Sometimes we chase our dreams most fiercely and that it good. And sometimes it feels right to simply sit and let the butterfly land on us. I think I may try that for a while.
Fragile, an 8″x10″ monoprint, is offered this week at $250.