“I believe that the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare.”~Maya Angelou
The day started with the soaring words above sent from the always inspiring Angie .
Then the newspaper arrived with a feature about Devon Harris, who years ago, dared to make a nigh impossible dream come true of creating and participating on the first Jamaican bobsled team to compete in the Olympics. His tale of daring to dare, along with tenacity, passion, vision, and sheer relentless hard work, inspired the terrific film, “Cool Runnings.”
A “daring theme” was blaring for the week. Going around with “daring glasses” on has been very inspiring–and enlightening.
Because when we hear the word “daring,” I think we sometimes forget that daring to dare can be something we live every day. For monumental moments, sure, but also for smaller ones.
The bravery, courage, intrepidity that daring entails can be what we call upon to: speak in front of a large group; visit a new place; start a different job; go for a divergent hairstyle; pursue an unconventional path; advocate a cause, especially an unpopular one; join a new community; suggest doing work in a fresh way; write a blog :)).
The list, as you know, is infinite.
Yesterday, when I served on a panel offering feedback to dance students from several high schools who performed an array of pieces, I was struck again by how dazzling human daring can be. We heartily applauded all the dancers for their beautiful art, and for putting themselves, and their hearts and souls, out there.
After we offered much constructive feedback, I asked a dancer who had performed a solo about her piece’s intent. She had seemed to be holding back, and I couldn’t tell if that were what she had wished to convey.
She replied, somewhat shyly, that she had just been very nervous. Of course! Familiar territory for all of us artists.
For when we share our creations of the meaningful and beautiful, it is “vulnerability central.” Replete with discomfort, uncertainty, risk-taking, fear….and sometimes sheer terror. (As I joked with the soloist, the fact that she hadn’t vomited should be counted as a win).
But we do it. Every time each of us dares to dare. Isn’t that unspeakably grand?!
Just as all of those young dancers did, and Devon Harris. And, of course, the incomparable Maya Angelou.
It reminds me that everyday heroes everywhere are going for it… facing uncertainty…swallowing fears. And chasing down their “…passion like it’s the last bus of the night.” ( Terri Guillemets)
Daring to dare opens up the expanses of possibility. Including of course, the risk… of …failure. But the one thing that is certain about failure? “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” (Wayne Gretzky)
Photo credit: Top-Rich Davis, http://www.davisphoto.smugmug.com