Friday afternoon, I was staring at a wall.
It was a gray wall, a block wall. It was a pretty drab view, unless, of course, you like block walls. As much as I do, I can’t stare at them forever.
As I was looking at the wall, I noticed a board running the length of the wall. It was about nine feet off the floor, give or take a foot. It was just a board, an inch and a half wide, fastened to a block wall.
As you can see, there were also some lovely cabinets and a wastebasket within view as well. All of it was, shall we say, functional. It was not a space you would choose for much of anything.
Except, of course, if you are waiting for the final program of a week-long drama camp. If you were waiting for that kind of program, a block wall is a perfect background, with nothing to draw your attention away from the creativity. If you were waiting for that kind of a program, you would love a space with space, with light, with potential.
And if you are an artist, a photographer, a painter, then a blank block wall with a narrow board would be perfect. Such a wall would give you a place to hang your work, a place where your creativity is evident.
Context is so often boring. Preparation is the uninteresting part. And it is part of every vocation I know. The proofreading, the outlining, the research, the rehearsal, the coding, the registration, the scales, the measuring…all are invisible. All feel like they get in the way of the real work, the fun part.
As I stared at the wall and the board, and then watched the kids and thought about the art, I decided that providing people with potential, creating context, is pretty important. And I realized that spending the time in my own life on building walls and putting up boards is an art as well.
Well-crafted potential matters.