It happened one snowy week when I was running to get somewhere on time and wiped out. Three times in one week. I have a scar on my shin to prove it, like hurry’s Youth Mark Herzlich Jersey signature on my leg. I rush right by beauty, and laughter, and precious people who could use a smile. I want to smile, but not now – I’ve only got seven minutes to get there! So I fly out the door, toothpaste on my chin, and wonder why I battle feelings of stress.
So I declared war. No more hurry. It’s not just an annoying habit, it is damaging, and not just to shin bones. Hurry is disturbing. Almost diabolical. It was stealing my joy, straining my relationships, eating at my health, siphoning off my energy. So I quit. Well, I’m in recovery. I still have occasional relapses, moments of temporary insanity when I lose track of time and decide the answer is to dash around like an idiot for five minutes and then sprint for the car.
That’s one thing I like about painting – I have to slow down. Some things just can’t be rushed, like a good golf swing. Now, that has never been a challenge in my golf game – my struggle has been timing it right so that I don’t hit one of those windmill blades.
John Wooten, famous coach of the UCLA Bruins, said, “Be quick, but don’t hurry.” Hurry doesn’t produce good basketball players, good golf swings or good art. It doesn’t produce good anything. I find I save time in the long run when I take the extra time to make sure the color I’m mixing is right. If I take the time to think through and plan out a painting before I start laying down paint, the painting moves along so much smoother and quicker. And I enjoy the experience more.
Hurrying into and out of a painting without taking the time to ponder, enjoy and plan steals something vital from the creative process.