What can't you erase?

In the early days of my day job, we purchased the most expensive piece of equipment we’d ever invested in---a huge, beautiful teak conference room table.

Three weeks after it arrived, a pizza delivery man came with food for our office and as we awkwardly danced with pizzas, the receipt and a credit card, the delivery man set the piping hot stack of boxes on the table. The resulting scar mocked me at every meeting for the next 10 years. It was permanent.

Some things can’t be erased.

There is an art to accepting the unfixable–to assimilating it and making it part of you. (In the case of our company, the scar became a bit of company legend and a moral tale for putting too much stock in appearances.)

So, do a gut check. What is it that you simply can’t erase? Is it a physical limitation, mistake that you’ve made, life circumstance that you wish were different?

One of the most important things in your growth as an artist–or for that matter as a person–is to learn acceptance of the things that cannot be erased. And while you can often create “in spite” of them, there is power to embracing them and making them part of your art.

Anne Lamott writes that: “Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a better past.” Some things can’t be erased, and it occurs to me that artists are better equipped than most to take the flaws and make them into something beautiful.

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall