By Lysette Le Cerf
It’s my new favourite thing to be crap at things.
I used to get pretty hung up on being crap. It became a big part of my identity.
Approaching my first swim carnival as a child, I filled my name out on every sign up sheet for every event. When it finally rolled around, I excitedly hop-walked to the starting block for my first race! Long story - short, I basically drowned and it turns out knowing how to swim is pretty necessary for raking in the trophies at these things. Who knew. Mum put us in lessons. I still can’t swim. I hate crabs anyway, so good for me.
We have this tradition where we gift our children a mystery seed for their birthdays. They have to plant it and nurture it to find out what it is… delayed gratification, responsibility etc. I really wanted to make this pretty watercolour envelope for my daughter’s seed. It was going to be the prettiest, most mysterious envelope you ever did see!
Turns out - I’m crap at watercolour. I thought the watery fluidity of the paint would hide the fact that I’m crap at art, but it failed me.
I watched someone at an event once who was extremely crap at playing guitar and singing. It was the greatest performance I’ve ever seen. It was so bad. He was in his own little world and was giving it everything he had. I’ve never been so touched by a performance.
Then I recall handmade gifts I’ve received from people over the years. The worse they are - the more attached I am to them. I’m like a ‘crappy handmade gift’ hoarder. I’m charmed by their humanity in these less than perfect offerings.
I did a gorgeous short film recently. However, my performance is majorly crap. It’s next level crap. It’s craptastic. I’ve been so humiliated and have used this one role as a stick to beat myself with. “See! You’re terrible! You can’t act!” I’ve found myself secretly hoping it doesn’t do well anymore and gets rejected from every festival and the tape gets caught in that spinning machine and catches on fire and can never be seen again and - oh yeah, we’re in the future...doh! So I need to make peace with the fact that I did a crap performance. I guess when we hide all our mistakes – nobody is learning or growing. Least of all ourselves. There are no fits of laughter or magical transformations in being awesome at everything.
I’m learning to find the value in being crap.
I love this crappy envelope. It tells me I love my daughter, and that I have a lot to learn about the art of paintbrushery. I’m excited to be crap and then slowly less crap until I’m just under average, maybe one day average and then pretty alright. Or maybe I’ll just stay crap. Who knows! What a fun mystery that will be to unravel!
Lysette Le Cerf.
Relentlessly inspired by life on earth and finding creative expression through acting, writing, designing rituals and the odd watercolour picture.
Mumma to Halo Araeli (1) and spirit sister to Moana.