I visited Jane's Kindergarten classroom for the first time this week. She sat upright. Lanky. Restrained. Trying, trying, and trying again. Wanting. Listening. Looping lowercase. Shadowing her teacher’s hand. Tracing again and again. The teacher would ask them to try something new and I could see her brain tinker with the idea of fear. Fear of doing it wrong. But her small-girl stamina quickly stamped it out; horse hooves flying. Off she went. That afternoon at home, dumped backpack, at it again. Bent over the table, peeling through paper, like moths fluttering to the floor. White. Thin. Veined with letters. Uppercase. Lower. Mistakes. Backwards J’s. A never-ending stream of trying.
I’d written several posts this week, to no avail. Taken hundreds of photos. Shuffled around words, like peas on a plate. My trail seemed lost. I put my head on the keys, thrown most of it away, tried to let go. But still arrived at fear. Fear of failure, fear of making something I didn’t like. Fear of posting the wrong thing. Words giving the wrong impression. Fear of making something others will find just plain ugly. Fear eating fear. Swallowing me up like a huge dragon.
I picture Jane. Boots on. Licking lips. Bent over, pencil in hand. I find my small-girl stamina. And move on.