Story from "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott, NY: Anchor, 1994.
"So I grew up around this man who sat at his desk in the study all day and wrote books and articles about the places and people he had seen and known. ...Writing taught my father to pay attention; my father in turn taught other people to pay attention and then write down their thoughts and observations." --p. xii
"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'" --pp. 18-19
This story tells us three things:
1) Assignments with very tight timeframes often seem like insumountable mountains;
2) We can move a mountain rock by rock (or bird by bird if we're moving the jungle)
3) When we have to move very fast we fear making mistakes. A pelican is not a songbird.
4) When we have a big new problem, it helps to have people who have done it before to help sort out the birds.
One I told before CPH meeting? |