Thursday, February 14, 2013

Dead Birds and Unraveled Hats

I found a dead bird the other day while walking on campus. I was walking home from class and cutting across the grass that everyone avoids walking in. The imposing building give a sense that everyone must be on their best behavior at all times and not walking on the designated paths is one way to not adhere to this sense of propriety. I looked down at the black mass and I didn't recognize what it was for a second. Only after I saw the little beak did I realize that it was a half-decomposed bird. It was laying on its back with its eyes closed, almost as if it were sleeping. It could've been sleeping if its ribcage hadn't been exposed.

Sometimes when we look at something, it takes us longer than we want to admit to recognize what we're really looking at. That person you know you should recognize but you just can't remember their name. A decaying bird that is unrecognizable laying, covered in mud, on the ground. That hat that you don't remember why you started in the first place.

Sometimes that hat you put time and effort into just doesn't turn out right. Or it doesn't fit. Or you don't like that color.

Instead of a hat that that pile of yarn used to be, it is now just a pile of yarn reminding me of a failure. I don't recognize it as a hat or that it used to be a hat even if it does still have some hat-like characteristics. To me it is a series of mistakes that resulted in a flawed finished product.

When I started that project, I didn't intend for it to be a failure, for it to sit in a box, never to be worn. I started it in hopes of having a new favorite hat to wear. No one starts something with the goal to fail at it. We start things with the hope that we will accomplish something, that we will be a better person for having finished our task. I might've learned something from this failure but I couldn't tell you what it might be. I know know that I messed up. I fucked something up and it's wrong. It's hard to recognize that you failed. It's even harder to accept that you failed.

Failure might be the most unexpected thing I've had to deal with in life and every time I'm faced with it, it's just as hard to swallow as that first time I failed.

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