Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.

Have you ever tried making something? Or writing a piece of fiction? Tried to stitch together a piece of clothing from scratch? Or even painting or drawing something? What’s the first thought that crosses your mind once you’ve made the decision? More often than not, it’s a mental image of what the finished piece in question will look like.

Then you go on to attempt making it / writing it / putting it together. There are always hardships on the way. Something unexpected crops up, something goes wrong through no fault of your own. Or you simply realise your envisioned piece of art will not turn out the way you wanted and hoped despite your best efforts because of a few technicalities, and it simply wouldn’t have worked. So you set about alternative routes, suddenly feeling adventurous after having abandoned the inital route as you know it’ll end up being something else anyway. When you are finally done and behold the masterpiece, what do you feel? Satisfaction with yourself and your efforts, and pleased that the efforts were worth it? Undeniably you will be saddened by the fact that the actual final piece and the one you had first imagined vary slightly, or even greatly, but then when you look at it again you’re glad it turned out the way it did because what you hold in your hand is way better than you’d have expected, and all that pain and effort and sorrow was worth it.

Life is just the same. You start out with great ideas in mind of where you want your life to be headed, what you want to be doing, what you wish to achieve in certain time periods. And all these are visions that you carry in your mind each day and aim to work towards. Yet, as the days, the weeks, the months go on, there are unexpected hurdles in your path, obstacles you hadn’t planned for and need to find other routes around and sometimes the route you took leads you to a whole new dimension in your life. And you stand there and look back at how you got there. At the end, more often than not, you feel satisfied and glad you are where you are, and the hurdles and obstacles were worth it.

This happens not once, or twice nor a dozen times in our lives, but at each step of the way. We reach a certain age or point in our lives when we learn that lesson that life is rarely what we expect it to be, and that it isn’t an easy ride and there will constantly be battles to be fought, hurdles to overcome and difficult choices to make, especially when it comes to choosing which bridges to burn and which to cross, which doors to close forever and which ones to take a chance on, with all you’ve got. Even though were are conscious of that lesson, we still tend to hope and expect life to be the way we have envisioned it.

Why?

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5 responses to “Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.

  1. Interesting question… and probably not one that is easily answered.

    I guess for me personally it’s because it gives me a sense of direction. If one doesn’t envision, one doesn’t direct… meaning, things become aimless, and if there’s one thing mankind seems to be really bad at it’s dealing with having no sense of purpose or aim. We need something tangible to pursue in order to move and strive. Having the urge to create is fine… but have you ever sat in front of a blank canvas or lump of clay with that urge and no idea of how to channel it into something? It’s frustrating…

    And the notion that we CAN shape life is actually a pretty useful one. Hoping for and expecting certain things not only gives a sense of direction, it also makes us willing to try. Which is essential to achieving anything….

  2. Never thought of that – it makes us willing to try. I guess it does. But then again, I wonder why we plan and dream of the nitty gritty details. Why can’t we be content and accept the fact that we will be deterred in some way and at some point. Why can’t we just envision the end result and aim towards that, instead of the mental check-points?

  3. Because mental check points are easier to deal with than an end result. When I was a kid and had to walk really far (or would THINK I had to walk really far) I’d tell myself “I just have to make it to that next intersection”… or “just one more street light to pass”… or any such thing that would break it down for me in little bits instead of thinking about how far the walk home would really be.

    Even today I still find myself doing it when faced with something that seems insurmountable. I tell myself… “in three hours I’ll be done and already doing something else”… or something like that… and it will seem less… huge. I will feel more capable of actually getting through it.

    That’s how I apply it to challenges and uphill struggles anyway. When it comes to hopes and dreams and and making plans… I guess it is a mix between wanting to feel in control… like we actually CAN decide that that is how it will be, regardless of Life’s fickle ways… and an element of enchantment. We grow infatuated with the object or archievement of our desire and so are willing to go through far more in order to get it.

    The act of identifying a want becomes almost something which identifies our invididual character. Which in a way is a good thing because it makes us “own” it. Stand by what it is we want instead of seemingly drifting aimlessly around with the indignant “i’ll get there in the end, you’ll see” comment almost as a crutch to lean on.

    Besides, planning is in and of itself a kind of escapism. It takes us away from where we are to where we want to be – even if it is a construct of imagination. And as for why we’d need that sense of escape… well, I’m sure there are many reasons… the simplest I guess being that human beings are curious creatures that get easily bored. Being content with what we have leaves us unchallenged, uninspired and mentally stagnant (most of the time) … so we keep moving… keep striving… keep searching… keep wanting more and better… and keep believing we know exactly what “more and better” is and means.

    Which I guess takes it back to wanting to feel in control… *chuckles and shrugs*

  4. Still, reminds me of the saying ‘if you can see the obstacles, you’ve taken your eyes off the goal’.

    Does that mean that what we had once deemed important and necessary to achieve lacks in its allure, and we give up halfway? Why do we look for checkpoints if we have always had that goal in mind? Why not look towards that, come what may?

  5. We reach a certain age or point in our lives when we learn that lesson that life is rarely what we expect it to be, and that it isn’t an easy ride and there will constantly be battles to be fought, hurdles to overcome and difficult choices to make, especially when it comes to choosing which bridges to burn and which to cross, which doors to close forever and which ones to take a chance on, with all you’ve got.

    U are completely right. Life is not easy to live especially now days.

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