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The Path of Regular Steps

I want to carve something but it's beyond me. What can I do?

Here is a simple carving:

A river meandering from the hills. Not very difficult; something some beginners might have a go at.

But many of those early carvers have a problem.

They expect to be able to  carving something along these lines:

Many a carver has become frustrated, given up carving, because they have ideas way beyond their abilities. This is a pity! And an issue I've come across again and again as a carving instructor: the triumph of hope over experience; a problem of imagination versus reality. 

If your goals and aspirations are far beyond what what can achieve at the present time you can easily become frustrated. There you are: you want to play music like Paganini playing music when you've just started learning the violin! 

What to do?

1 Think what you’d like to carve, eventually. What is your goal?

2 See yourself at the beginning of a journey, a path wit that goal at the end. 

3 You are here. You want to be there.

4 Between the here and the there are lots of steps, many challenges in between.

5 This is very important! Break the journey toward your goal into steps, parts, bite-sized intermediary carvings.

You are looking for progressive, thought-out steps, always on the edge of challenging but never too much that you feel defeated.

It's absolutely amazing what such path of regular steps will achieve, on any path. Each time you show up at the bbench you are investing in your future as a carver.

And you are likely to be amazed and gratified at what you do achieve.

Bottom line: It still might be that you'll never achieve what you have set your heart on. That's hard but none of us live forever or are have infinite talent. We have to be OK with that. 

I'm in the same boat! 

No matter how long my life, there are carvings I can imagine that are way beyond what I'm capable of, and amazing carvers who leave me behind. 

So make the journey good and, as the Zen master said, 'Wobble, but don't stop!'





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