The Nature of Risk

Artist in Residency Playful Project

The Nature of Risk by Patricia Soper

What courage, each year, has the tree

to once again birth her leaves,

her pink cherry blossoms or delicate dogwood petals,

knowing in days, weeks or months,

they will wither and fall to the ground.

So, too, the crocus or tulip,

who struggles through the frozen ground,

regardless the chance of Spring snowfall.

Even in warmed, her flower's glory will be short-lived.

What freedom to show up, generously share,

sure of one's value to Earth.

Oh, to be like that,

to bloom without fear,

not clinging to longevity,

nor demanding guarantee,

but offer our best without expectation.

Andrea Naylor The Playful Project Door County Artist in Residency

Andrea Naylor Artist Mother The Playful Project Artist in Residency Chicago Florida Miami


I am one week into my “Playful Project”. This week I've had a huge surge of momentum as I've been prepping materials to work larger than I ever have. I've been sitting in silence with my coffee each morning watching the morning light pour into my studio. I did a deep clean on my studio which felt amazing and these first few days into this already feels different even though I haven't changed studio locations. It's been really incredible to just sit and allow myself to paint things that come to me, or to entertain ideas that I've been wanting to experiment with, and painting faces with my children. I came across this poem by Patrica Soper and fell in love with the sentiment behind the analogy she makes between risk and flowers blooming. I never thought of what flowers might feel or think as she so eloquently paints a picture of their virtuous entrance into the world through snow and frozen ground. The very act of blooming in a manner that does not acknowledge or express regret is the very foundation for this project for me. No fear, not clinging to longevity, no demands of guarantee.... yet be our best.

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