We kicked off the edition of 50 custom clam shell boxes for the CityDance/Pyramid Atlantic Moving Parts project last week. After what felt like a slow start with a grouchy board sheer and an inexperienced team (myself included!), I spent much of last weekend wondering what I'd gotten myself into.
This week we're making more progress than I could have imagined. After setting up nine work stations using innovative found jigs like empty drawers and bricks, we turned out 18 "inside trays" in a few hours.
Yesterday's progress revealed more to me, and not so much in terms of "numbers of things done," but in the smiles as people built their first tray, the way they made it their own once they got into a rhythm, and enthusiastic volunteers that are getting involved after the interns go back to school in August.
A conversation with Gretchen (my Pyramid colleague who's co-leading this project) helped put things in perspective, too - that this is doable, that we'll take our time and do it well, that teaching/empowering others to do this is so worth the time. We solved several design problems, too. I'm starting to see that the production phase is as much a string of problems to solve as it is "producing" - and that's a good thing, if I remember to sit with the discomfort of not knowing until the answer reveals itself. That, and remembering to keep asking for help.
Am coming to believe that just moving steadily through a project like this for the first time will put a lot of these anxieties to bed as I/we learn how to handle each step. I have no context - so part of me is excited about what each stage reveals, part of me wants to know, damn it, so I can stop worrying about if we can pull it off or not. But what does that mean? What happens, happens and we'll move through it.
Am also noticing that editioning and production may not be my cup of tea. Too soon to tell, but it feels vastly different from the rich conceptual/creative stage I just left in Susan King's workshop. I find I get cranky if I don't get to do a little of that (and Morning Pages) every day to balance out the other stuff.