The Freedom To Do Things Badly

Today I split some wood. I'm not very good at it, but I've always loved doing things that are not my forte. Example: pottery classes at the 92nd Street Y. I stink at pottery. But the (very few) objects I made during my ten week sessions there are among my very favorite objects in the world.

At Least They Hold Liquid

At the risk of being a hopeless dabbler, I persist. I want my kids so witness both the attempt and the imperfection. I want to convey to them this: do it anyway. Split wood, even if your daddy can split four times as much in half the time. Make ceramic sake cups even if they're lopsided and the glaze runs. Frost lopsided birthday cakes with glee, and sketch horses that look like anteaters. Do these things for the sake of feeling the maul in your hands, and the crack as the log finally gives.

Even if you don't ever manage to get in touch with your inner woodsman, it will only be that much easier to try the next thing.