As I write this, I’m in my usual summer spot, at the pool while my children have swim and dive practice. Thanks to the Father’s Day generosity of those same people I have a shiny refurbished Chromebook with which to formulate my thoughts. It beats the heck out of typing with your thumbs.
Something really interesting is happening on the diving boards. Last night was the first dive meet of the season, and it concluded with the very best divers performing astounding aerial acrobatics before they sliced into the pool with barely a splash. So the younger divers might quite understandably be feeling intimidated this morning, while the older divers are feeling the sting of defeat. The wise coach is cutting the tension with failure. Like, literally. She’s sending each diver to the board to intentionally do something wrong, or belly flop or (extra points here!) back-flop. And the coach is demonstrating! It’s a chance to try something new, and to get over the primal fear of crashing into the water and coming up with a belly or back that feels like it’s on fire. Failure, it turns out, is not so bad. It’s actually freeing.
So kid after kid is failing, after which the rest of the team waits for the diver to surface before communally announcing in a liturgical refrain: “FAIL!!” Everyone is smiling and laughing and getting creative about just how they will fail even bigger on their next turn.
It’s a beautiful thing.
So on this Wednesday, I wish you failure. Maybe not when the boss is looking, but I hope you’ll try something new or difficult and chuckle at yourself when you perform less than perfectly. I’m sure you’ll also do better than you thought you would! A wise person once said, “If something is worth doing, then it’s worth doing poorly.”
My other wish for your Wednesday is that you join us for Spirits & Spirituality tonight at 7pm. We’ll be including all comers in a wide-ranging open discussion that’s open to the community at Caboose Commons in Merrifield. It literally won’t be the same without you.
Since this coming Sunday is the fifth of the month, we won’t be meeting in an official capacity. But if you’ve got something good in mind, please consider inviting along a Common Tabler (or two) (or more!). And whatever you do, I hope you’ll enjoy the space and time and freedom from routine.
See you soon,