Aiming High


drops 1, photograph

“If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it; every arrow that flies feels the attraction of earth.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Most of the time I find myself trying to do something I haven’t done before, trying to figure out something new. Usually something I don’t know if I can pull off.  There’s a downside to this in my experience that has to be managed.

I’ve been playing the piano for the past 5 years or so and I’m typically interested in playing music that is beyond my ability. As a result, I don’t play it as well as music that would be more appropriate for my level. I have to be satisfied with a more limited “success” in the interest of  stretching myself past my comfort level. And my playing is actually better for it.

In photography, I try to constantly explore styles, subjects and techniques that are new to me. The results may not be of as high a quality as what I have more experience with, but the effort informs everything else I do in a positive way. Plus, I have a restless artistic nature that gets bored easily – it’s more fun to try new things.

Is it better to try to perfect what you know or to move on to what you don’t? For now, I’m following the advice of Gertrude Stein who said, “If you can do it then why do it?”.