The First Step

The first step for an author, an artist or machine worker is always a point of reflection. It represents the first obstacle to the outcome. The overcoming of the crisp perfection of blank white canvas. It is after all the first step in what feels like a potentially exciting adventure: to see what it will become!

Certainly, there exists the tormented cries of the artist who's mind’s eye conceives of the product of genius. But, in as beautiful as their creations can be, and the vanity so many artists hold themself in, less are perhaps willing to admit the lack of an envisioned grandeur outcome. Rather, many such men and women are instead excited to feed and feel the piece coming alive, organically, as if they were the fire starter, and the work the flame. Drunk on self decadence they conceive of such a vision retroactively to explain the origin of this brilliant work — knowing all too dearly the debt owed to that radical spirit of mystery.

It takes nine months to be born, seventeen years and nine months more to age, and eighty more for it to all end, but, the end result is that same mystery: the illusory phantom laughing back at you from white page. It is this haunting tones of laughter that chill one to never even start. Surely, there is little more terrifying than to stand at the feet of the uncarved block or to hold gently the unbleached silk, and ask, “What would you like to be?”. For it is always the case that the first page, draft, piece or substance will inevitably devolve into a mess! And it is the painful awareness of his mess making nature that man decides to put down the block and not even begin. For there is a sort of primitive beauty in something conceived by nature and left alone.

However, that mess making nature of ours is all humans have! Realize that this element creates the basis for the fundamental identity of humans. Whether the artist chooses to paint or not, the dancer to step or not step, the worker to do or not to do, they have chosen an action and lost what they hoped to keep. That is to say, it is impossible for the artist to retain the perfection and equanimity of the blank page through action or non-action. Whether today the lens is rose, tomorrow blue, whether the first page is wrong or the paint colour isn’t right, we will never know if it was “correct” until it is done!

But to be done, one has to take the first terrifying step into the unknown of what is, to find out the promise of what could be.