Be Careful if You Pull Over…

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“It is difficult to steer a parked car, so get moving.”

Henrietta Mears

I love the sentiment and humor behind this statement and I thought this photograph would be apropos.

When we feel directionless, there can be a tendency to stop our activity, to try to get our bearings. While this may be fine for a short time, it is all too easy to find yourself suddenly parked rather than simply idling.

But direction, by it’s very definition, requires movement. Steering is making all the tiny adjustments and course corrections needed to get us where we are going, but there is nothing to adjust or correct if we’re standing still. So we need to get moving.

My usual technique is to start up several activities, more than I know I will end up continuing. Knowing I will abandon some of these efforts takes the pressure off any one of them. The process of deciding which to continue and which to give up on allows me to know which way to steer. This use of comparison (I like this better than that) helps me make the right decisions. I find it harder to evaluate a possible direction in isolation.

How do you get moving? How do you turn the key and apply some pressure to the gas pedal?

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3 responses to “Be Careful if You Pull Over…

  1. Great photo, I saw this on your flickr stream, with the stranded canoeist, which I love. I would subtitle this one “ZZ Top’s ride, before they were famous” 🙂

    I completely resonate with your approach to projects. For example, my preoccupation with house refurbishing in recent weeks has caused me to “take my eye off the ball” musically, and I need to kick-start some ideas myself. My method this time around is this:

    With the next Christie show coming up in just over a week, and the insertion into the show of a complex guitar number (Katchaturian’s “Sabre Dance”) -merely going into the studio to rehearse this difficult piece will put me back ‘in the zone” and I will naturally start doodling with ideas in between the rehearsal takes, just to relieve the monotony. Then , I’m off and running. It’s a bit like getting an old friend to help you push-start the car up a slight incline, then jump in, and it’s downhill all the way!

  2. Honestly I rarely stand still. I wish I could… and Kevin wished too to see me standing still a little bit more often, allowing him to relax as well!
    I think I have the contrary problem. i feel inspired by so many things, everyday i am confronted with things which give me the idea to start a new series of paintings, and it is very difficult to make a choice, I would love to be able to go in all directions at the same time!
    I ove you photo, love all these yellow/gold/brown tones you have in some of the photos you publish actually… and the blacks as well!

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