Friday, October 5, 2007

Putting Up a Tent in a Hurricane

As I get into the planning and early practicalities of the voyage to Labrador, two images come to mind of what i think must be a common experience for anyone trying to get any project going. And sometimes this can signal defeat right at the outset.

The image is of trying to put up a tent in a hurrcane. The tent is the project, whatever it is; the hurricane is normal life. People with plans are usually people who are already busy people -- busy people were busy babies -- so trying to find space in the day, and the budget for the new project really can feel like holding up one tent pole while the wind blows away the other one. It's a phase that has to be met with persistence and patience. I woke the other night at 1 am and spent an hour mapping out the entire project, as so far conceived, using mind map software.

Mind map software is new to me - but the potential is alluring, especially if you're one of those people who tends to forget whatever's not immediately in front of them (I can forget food in a fridge!) The advantage of mind mapping is that the whole projects becomes visible - every part and the details under those parts. Each time I have a new idea I can add it to the correct "pod" and have an idea of where it fits into the whole.

I'm not sure mind mapping works well for budgetting - the FreeMind software I'm using doesn't even allow a $ icon next to items that require money. But maybe I just haven't learned the versatility of the program yet.

The second image of starting a significant project is that of trying to get a hot air balloon up into the air - safely, with a minimum of wasted effort and everything needed for thevoyage in the basket. It's a lot of work laying out the balloon on the ground, just as it is laying out the parameters of the project. The hot air is one's own efforts and the energy (physical, psychic and financial) needed to lift the project off the ground. As every ballooner can assest, the period as the balloon starts to fill, until it's upright is the most critical and potentially dangerous.

Easy to get defeated when the balloon's just unwrapped on the ground; easy for the fabric of the balloon to catch fire and the project hit the ground in flames if energy is misdirected. Yet nothing looks more magnificant than a balloon or project is floating in the air and underway. It looks so effortless. Ha!

in t

1 comment:

Patricia said...

But what of colour....what is the colour for this magnifant hot air ballon.....mine would be the colour of the sea, kissed by an orca. It would be worth the effort.