When I started writing for this web-log, I spent lots of time preparing the first few posts. Then, the number of drafts began to dwindle. The amount of time between idea and publication shortened. When reading back over my site, I was getting more and more disappointed with the quality of my writing.
The same just happened with my pinch pots. I’ve been practicing, making the same type of pot over and over and over again. Yesterday, I discovered that if I pinch the clay to a particular thickness, leave it to dry for an hour or two and then pinch it again, I end up with a better result. The walls are thinner, the pot is larger and it holds its shape. I’ve yet to see how they will emerge from the kiln. But, the point today is that I got too eager and started to push for the same end result without the pause in the middle. Of course, it didn’t work. The clay was too soft to hold its shape. The pot is more of a plate.
Eagerness is often applauded. Some people pride themselves on the pace with which they get stuck into a job. They are eager to get started.
However, my eagerness constrained my ability to achieve the quality I wanted. My dictionary states that “eager” is an “impatient longing”. Eagerness does not seem to compliment those situations where patience, thoughtfulness, due consideration or even some planning is required.
The trick is knowing when to step away and take a break, when to reflect on progress and ponder the next stage, and when to pick it up again. Otherwise, eagerness can create the appearance of a slack attitude towards quality.
If “eager” is the word for “impatient longing”, what is the word for “patient longing”? Hope? That’s not quite what I had in mind. Hope better describes an attitude we might have towards something that is not quite here and now. I hope one day to be able to (insert dream here).
Instead, I’m looking for something to describe the deliberate pause before progressing to the next stage.
How about “patient determination”?