I found this little test I did with thin silk yarn, many years ago. It was a fluffy little ball then, but is now entirely flat. I no longer remember what my plans were (something jewellery related), but that is not important.
The interesting thing is the note I made on how long the piece of yarn was. On this tiny note, I did not write so-and-so many centimeters, but simply:
double yarn, “my wingspan” (between my stretched arms)
I really, really like they way I put it here! Wingspan, that’s… quite something!
In the past, the human body offered a measurement system, like “feet” in English, and a number of similar ones were used in Swedish in the past, and I guess in other languages as well.
What happens if we measure things less precisely, relating more to the regular things we do in life, or how we feel?
– When will you have finished that report?
– Oh, I think in… well, in ten coffee breaks from now, perhaps eleven…
– That’s fine. Can I join you?
Or, it is finally your turn in that very luxury chocolate shop in Brussels, where hands covered in white cotton gloves carefully pick the pralines, one by one:
– C’est a qui? And how many would you like, madame?
– Oh… please give me… as many as I need! (your French is miserable, but the white gloves fill a little box with exactly the amount you need at that very moment).
Or you are looking for directions:
– Excuse me, but do you know the way to “My Road”?
– Let me think… I think you had better stay in your own direction, don’t turn left or right where the others go, but follow your own feet, they should know the way.
– But my feet only want to go shopping!
– Oh, I see, well, that leads you nowhere, no… Then you should listen more to your heart. Or perhaps your stomach (by now filled with chocolate, remember?). Just follow your gut feeling, and you will get there!
– Thank you soooo much! (… and off you go, in your own direction)
And your wingspan, what is that about then?
Catch the wind and see what happens. Figure out how big a field you need to get enough speed to take off. Learn something new about yourself.
In this little note about the “wingspan”, it is actually the younger me talking to the older me. I’m grateful for that, and I listen (as apparently, I am forgetful).
So, I should get a bit of that wingspan feeling back again. Perhaps I’m like an albatross, slow and heavy in the start, but then ready to cover huge distances? Or are my wings made to navigate in a narrow bush, ready for speedy reactions when something comes my way? Can I use my wings also under water? What kind of wings do I have, actually? What kind of wings do you have?
What I want to say here is: An auto-pilot is fine, we need that too, but don’t rely on it too heavily. Keep a broad view on things and your eyes on the horizon. Don’t count centimeters, but think “wingspan”.
Finally, I’m very curious to know: Did you ever come across a hint or reminder from the younger you to the older you? Did it still make sense and did it help you somehow?