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Goals, growth and grace

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Baby F is growing out of her clothes. We are managing with mostly hand-me-downs and gifts which is so fortunate. I keep pulling out clothes that seemed impossibly large and then getting her into them just in time to see her grow out of them. It requires real attention actually, keeping an eye on the too-big box and gradually filling the too-small box as we go.

I made a vision board a while back. When baby F was just fresh and I was just adjusting to motherhood and the sleeplessness and everything. When baby F was napping I would sit next to her crib on the floor, listening to this novel or of course CBC radio, cutting out pictures and gluing them on the back of a baby gap gift bag.

I’ve never done much painting or drawing but I’ve always loved collage. I like how the finished product sort of reveals itself to you as you go along.

In Florence last year I learned about Michelangelo’s sculpting genius. He was rare among the sculptors of his time – most of them started out with a dummy version of the finished product, a little rough, in plaster. They would show it to their patron and make adjustments as needed, so that when chisel hit marble, there were no mistakes.


Michelangelo was different. He skipped the plaster step – no practice, just went straight to marble. He was famous for saying this: Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.

Collage reminds me of that.

Have I told you that Michelangelo and I share a birthday? In addition to a love of doing art without a plan.

So basically, we are kindred spirits.


Towards the end of his career, Michelangelo did some sculptures that were only partially “discovered” from their stone blocks. Subverting the medium. A real rebel.

He was constantly growing, pushing boundaries.

When I was looking for the Michelangelo quote, I found another one, more applicable to those of us who aren’t sculptors:

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.

In other words, keep growing. Keep a too-big drawer to grow into and a too-small box to leave behind. And create a vision to guide the way.

What do you think?

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