This week's Zentangle® Challenge from The Diva was a tangle I had never seen before: Crux, by Henrike Bratz. And it was indeed a challenge; yesterday I took it for a test drive on a piece of scrap paper. Disaster! Ugh! My first tries were hideous.
I liked Henrike's illustrations, and the Diva's version, but wow, I had real trouble with it. Just couldn't get it.
So today, with great trepidation, I grabbed my Gelly Roll pens and a black tile and set to work. To warm up, I started with Squid, the organic tangle on the right of the tile.
Much to my surprise, Crux came out just fine. I have no idea why. Was it the warm-up first? It just flowed right out. Could have knocked me over with surprise. Any ideas on why this sometimes happens? Is it that the brain has had time to think about it overnight? Is it the beginning of muscle-memory from the practice yesterday, even though yesterday's results were terrible?
I am posting this before I change my mind. I am surprised to say that I like it. Even the colors are unusual for me; I never use pink. Next I'll swing by the Diva's website and see what other people are doing with this tangle.
The whole experience reminded me of my experience with high school algebra (seriously--read on and you'll see why).
Freshman year I took Algebra One. Up until then I had been a straight-A student in my academic career, although math was always a terrible struggle. Algebra One totally defeated me. I did not understand one single thing the entire year. At the end of the year I squeaked out a D, I think, the only D I ever got, and I think they gave me a D only because they couldn't bear to give an F to an otherwise A student. I knew Algebra Two was coming up in my Junior Year and began worrying the day Algebra One finished. Sophomore year we had Geometry. I did poorly at that also, but managed to grit my teeth and get through it with a B if memory serves. That summer after sophomore year I went into a full-scale panic, knowing what was coming up: The dreaded Algebra Two. I knew I could not do it.
Mid-summer I was practically physically sick with anxiety. Finally the month before school resumed I went to the library and took out an Algebra One book and brought it home. In a state of complete hopeless terror, I opened it and began reading.
I understood every word. It was a breeze to learn.
This was a complete mystery to me then, and even now. What happened? I aced Algebra Two and even enjoyed it...why? Did I mature somehow? Did my brain go to work on the topic after that horrible first year? What made the difference? I still would like to know.
Today's experience with Crux was a (very) mini-version of that phenomenon. Go figure.
“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”
and another quote I'm sure I've shared before:
“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), long-time meditator and coach, focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
NEXT INTRO TO ZENTANGLE CLASS:
No immediate group classes scheduled (I'm always open to hearing about a good venue in the Cambridge-Somerville area). I am always happy to teach 1-1 and/or in a small group in your home.
Come and amaze yourself!
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society
Skillful Meditation Project