“All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.”

– Federico Fellini (1920-1984)

“Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment.”

– Rita Mae Brown (1944- )

“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”

– Ansel Adams (1902-1984)

For me, all three of these quotations point to a common theme… How has reflection on our experiences and examination of our lives enabled us to stand with increased confidence in a more appropriate place, to create something better in the world?

We need experience. Certainly our decisions are made better by looking back with the help of hindsight. Foresight doesn’t arise in a vacuum. It relies on experience, much of which occurs because we don’t really know what we are doing.

As Fellini notes, the wisdom that grows within is like a pearl. Pearls are like the story that forms around the irritation of something that invades us, not unlike the grain of sand inside the oyster, which eventually becomes the pearl. Pearls of wisdom. Wisdom arising from experience. Experience arising from lack of wisdom.

Leaning where to stand isn’t easy, yet we do learn to do so, over time, through much muddling about and with it, hindsight transforming into foresight.

– Richard Chandler

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