So. This is it. The Springer’s Final thought, the Amen, the Goodnight and Good Luck, the Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
And I don’t really know what to say. Which has really always been the problem with these blogs: there’s almost too much to talk about and it always seem reductive to try to nail it down to a digestible summation.
I could write an essay about Team Effort! I could write something heartfelt, saccharine but no less true for that. I could write something snarky and analytical, something couched in the academic discourse of collaboration and theories of artistic conviviality, I could write a long treatise on just the things it has done for me: how it has moved, enriched, irritated, pushed, pulled, filled me with hope, filled me with joy, left me drunk and subsequently hungover.
Instead I will write a list. Because Gilly likes lists and she rightly likes to extol the virtue of lists. And there is a such a surfeit of things to say, good, bad, funny, poetic, complimentary, critical that only a list will compress these things enough to make them into a blog post.These are things I have learnt. These are things I have learned this year and smart, helpful things that the good cunts of TE! have told me or helped me to understand.
1) Try to be fearless. And when you are afraid try even harder to be fearless, especially if you know your fears are restrictive and irrational.
2) Know the difference between things you definitely can’t do and things you are worried you won’t be able to do. If you realise you are simply worried you won’t be able to do something that probably means you should have a right good fucking go at it. And if you fail, fail in a full-hearted headlong attempt not in a mediocre one.
3) Gilly will accidentally pay for johnnies if you submit a receipt for them thinking it was just a receipt for something else quite innocuous.
4) You probably have a better brain than you allow yourself to believe you have but you will only find that out by using it, sometimes in extreme circumstances, sometimes under time pressure which seems untenable, sometimes in situations where you can’t see how you will possibly make something good.
5) Collaboration is difficult but it is incredibly good for you. If it feels like you are getting it all your own way, that probably means you are crushing someone else. It you feel like you are being crushed then only you are responsible for telling the people who are making you feel that as tactfully and generously as you can and trying to find a resolution which services all parties involved and moreover the work you are trying to make.
6) Chairs can be a surprisingly incendiary topic of conversation.
7) If there is no reason you should get involved in something or help someone out, there is probably equally no reason you shouldn’t get involved or help out. So if you can: DO.
8) Some of the most amazing people you will ever know are already on the margins of your life and you just don’t know it yet. Friends of friends, colleagues of friends, there are people on the fringes of your acquaintance,who are doing incredible things. You should meet them if you can, be interested in them they way they deserve to have you be interested in them and maybe you will end up doing cool stuff together. We’re all shy but it’s not as hard as you think.
9) Be kind. Be generous. Really, really listen to other people. If you are mainly waiting for your chance to say things, especially if those things are about yourself you will miss a great deal of precious treasure which is sparkling right in front of you and you will remain all full up of the things you least enjoy about yourself.And that will be shite.
10) Debbie Hannan, Eilidh Macaskill, Martin O’Connor, Fergus Dunnet, Stef Smith, Kim Beveridge, Gilly Roche, Kim Moore and Alan Madden are all peerlessly excellent human beings. If you haven’t seen their brilliant work or met them you should try to do both. Seriously, you kids are in for a treat. I’m quite nice and clever too but I’m a bit coarse and over eager to talk about bums and willies and tits and poo.
11) Know the difference between self-criticism and self-flagellation. It’s sort of like a hammer: you can use it to sculpt something beautiful or you can use it smash things up. Subject your work to scrutiny, you need to know it is as good, rigorous and well-crafted as it can be but don’t pull everything to bits until you can’t see the quality in what you make.
12) Be excellent to one another. Seriously. Do.