Sometimes we’re so up close to a situation that all we can see are the flaws. Even on a beautiful face, if you stand too close, you’re likely to see pores and discolorations and tiny scars from who knows how long ago.
But when you step back, when you put some distance between you and it, you open yourself up to seeing the bigger picture. You open yourself up to seeing the value of the whole in relation to everything else. Suddenly that tiny scar is no longer visible but the subtle sweep of an eyebrow carries you along into the mystery of the entire face.
This is something I’ve always believed, but I guess I’d forgotten.
When I messed up this abstract and found myself horribly disappointed in the blob of colors I’d set down on the paper, I picked up a Sharpie and distractedly drew some shapes, a la the only video I had ever painted along with a week or so prior. What difference did it make at that point anyway? It was ruined.
And then I stepped back a few feet.
I’d never painted flowers before. But I sort of like these. (Random thought: they could also double as baby turtles.)
Have you ever had to step back from something to appreciate it?