Sunday, June 19, 2016
I'm deep into a pile of projects, most of them for others, and I'm being challenged to sew in a style that I have had very little recent practice with. And I keep getting things wrong.
I call these "pratfalls".
In comedy, a pratfall is when the comedian does something dumb or humiliating, usually physically, in such a way that it generates a laugh. More specifically, it's when a person falls on their butt. It's not intellectual humor About as far away from that as you can get. But it makes us laugh. There's something about certain types of physical humor that we just find funny.
Most of the time when we are sewing, the mistakes we make are dumb. We sew two left arms. We shift something an inch away from where it should be. We continue to stitch on our sewing machines long after the bobbin has run out. We forget, we misplace, we measure once and cut twice. And these things happen to everyone. Well, most of us, anyway. Certainly those of us who are distracted by all the other things in our lives.
The simple fact is that dumb mistakes happen. By framing them in the rubric of humor, however, it's easier to let them go, and not hold onto them as proof of our flaws, or badges of failure. If I didn't look at the mistakes I've made over the past two days as pratfalls- falling on my butt just to pick myself back up again- I'd be wallowing in self doubt and misery at this point. And nothing would get done.
I laugh instead of cry, even when the mistakes pile up. They aren't a reflection of my skill or abilities. They are instead mini lessons in humility, which I could certainly use more practice in. And that's exactly the point of the pratfall.