Wednesday, February 1, 2012


a muse on practice. I have been rolling these little thoughts around in my head for days.

As kids we are constantly told to practice. when I was 9 my music teacher told me if I ever wanted to be any good at the clarinet i would have to practice. I didnt want to be any good at the clarinet and so I didnt practice. Practice at that age sometimes seemed something like a punishment. I should have been in practicing my instrument diligently but where I really wanted to be was outside playing. Playing is really what you want to be doing at that age, after all. 

In high school when I was first interested in photography my teacher stressed the importance of diligently learning and practicing the proper techniques. He was rigid in this stance. All i wanted to do was be out shooting, having fun, seeing how things looked through the lens and that translated onto paper 

But now as an adult practice has become synonymous with play. I relish the opportunity to practice making a flower arrangement or playing with Polaroid film a perfect exposure is achieved. And i wonder at what point these two, play and practice, merged. Practice has become a welcomed luxury and something self-motivated. I actually want to practice doing the things I am passionate about. In graduate school the importance of play was often stressed (ok, it was art school) but the impetus behind the conversation was that often as adults we dismiss play as a childish notion and it is not tied to productivity. But play (or what I now think of as practice) is/can be very fruitful. It seems so very important at this point and I sometimes have to remind myself that it is a good activity, a good use of time. 

Maybe they were just having us practice for the practice... 

hope that wasn't too tortuous, thanks for sticking with my random wednesday thoughts 

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