Today's Impossible Lesson
By ice rivers
That moment when you realize that the work you do is good but nowhere near as good as the work of the people who are great at doing the work that you do.
Reminds me of the piano student taking lessons from the esteemed master teacher. After playing his piece and being complimented by the maestro, the student says "but it didn't sound as good as it sounds in my head before I play it". The teacher says..."it never does and that's today's most important lesson."
I've tried very hard to learn this lesson.
Especially in photography.
Many people tell me that my photographs are "awesome". Naturally I accept the compliment with gratitude.
I see something wrong with every image.
Recently I sat in front of Phil Alden Robinson for a screening ot Field of Dreams. As usual I got into the film more than most folks do. Judging from the sound of reactions behind me, the only person reacting the way I was reactiong was Robinson. Phil and I have been friends for many years but this was the first time I sat near him while he watched the film he had created which had changed both of our lives
After the film, Phil rose from his seat for some....he patted my shoulder and said "I told you it had a big ending."
When he got on stage, it was evident that he had tears in his eyes.
"I promised myself I wouldn't cry but here I am" Phil informed us.
It seems that this was one of the first times that Phil had watched his film and was able to see it from the point of view of the audience.
It only took him three decades to separate himself from being the director and noticing alll the things that went wrong, all the relationships he had formed with the crew during the making of the film, all of the problems confronted, all of the cuts made and unmade, all of the little things that he noticed that only the director of the film would notice..... which distracted him from actually seeing the film.
Perhaps we all get a bit too close even as we examine our lives. As Van Morrison once sang "How can we understand someone else when it takes us more than a lifetime to understand ourselves."
The further away I get from my photos the better I like them.
Same with my writing.
Then I read some Sinclair Lewis and realize how far I have to go even in the completion of one paragraph.
Then I realize Lewis felt the same way only worse.