In my first year of college, one of the prerequisites was to take an English course -something about literature and short stories. I had no place being there. I was right out of high school. I was a science nerd. Everyone was smarter, wiser, older, more experienced than myself. They could sit in front of the room and dissect the morals, themes and symbolism of the fictional narratives. I could probably do that too, I was surprisingly deep in my interpretation of poetic and literary concepts, but I didn't yet have the confidence to be in front of a room of ‘peers' in the form of ‘public speaking.’
I remember one classmate in particular (a woman) who had taken on the interpretation of a story that involved a character who was knitting. She spoke of knitting as creation, building the story of life stitch by stitch. With every stitch, the knitted piece grows. It becomes something. In the process, yarn become stitches, which become rows, which become fabrics, which can be joined and connected to a final piece. Dropped and erred stitches unravel the piece or render it imperfect, intentional or not. By pulling on an end of yarn you can undo an entire section or piece, deleting it, wiping out the evidence of its existance. When you look at the final piece, maybe you don’t notice each stitch, and yet each had to be knitted for the next to exist.
As I formulate the Make It To Market cohorts (cohort, a word I’ve borrowed from academia), I feel these steps, these stitches, each one impacting the next and yet forgettable in its own creation. Invitations result in commitments, inquiries become decisions, places demand logistics, data requires software … with each stitch/step the vision becomes a little more tangible. Editing is ongoing and the final creation is yet to be determined.
We now have two or three groups, I’m not sure. Eighteen people have said ‘yes’ and my goal was six. Seven are in Tofino. I made up the dates – Fridays, based on my own vehicle availability. Now I have to get there, a three-hour drive. No flights, apparently, unless chartered, and I have no idea how I would have afforded that anyway. Tofino is well-booked for the summer at premium prices and so I hold out for the intention that if I keep working my networks, things will work out. I could drive in at four in the morning, out in the afternoon, or sleep in my car overnight if need be. So anyways, this is the process of figuring out Tofino stitch by stitch while pretending that I know what I’m doing. These are the folks who said ‘yes’ and I am well motivated by an enthusiastic response.
Twenty years ago I dropped the English course because of the demands of the concurrent first-year science courses that an 18-year-old me perceived to be more useful at the time. In hindsight, I was fortunate have enrolled long enough in English to hear the woman’s presentation and find a guiding metaphor to serve me in these uncertain times, the outward persona trusting the inward wisdom. “I have no idea what I’m doing” … is fiction. Yet it's easy to wander in and out of that confidence as you take each step to make things more clear.