Wulf's Webden

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The Experiential Continuum

Wallpapering has been making me think philosophically. You have to do something when what you hoped would be a simple task looks to be stretching out ahead of you as a consumer of hours and eater of days! I must admit that I had a little inwardly disparaging of whoever put up the previous wallpaper, having looked at it close up and spotted numerous flaws, but that is definitely behind me now that I have experienced hanging a few drops myself. One roll down (out of 7.5 required) on the easiest wall in the room and taking at least three hours. This could take me some time and, while the result isn’t bad, I have certainly failed to exceed the quality of what went before (although parts of it had reached a poor condition so it did need replacing).

In my case, therefore, experience has led to a little more humility and that is probably a good thing. I can think of other examples where gaining experience has led me in the direction of considering the attempts and interests of others more generously (such as learning to play contemporary R&B with the LovesJones band back in London and realising that it was repetitive noise but often musically nuanced and with soul-felt lyrics). This is not always the direction of travel; if you can do something very well, it is easy to become dismissive of those who struggle (how on earth can anyone not see how sensibly normalised data fits together in coherent relationships?)

Therefore, while experience is an excellent teacher, perhaps it is wise to make sure humility is also serving as a classroom assistant in order not only to learn well but to learn what is good?

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