Like any other child, I had many moments when I wished I could practice while reading a book or watching TV.
I’m not much of a tennis player, but I wanted to give my kids an introduction to the sport last summer, so we picked up some kid-sized rackets and headed out to do some hitting. Naturally, I started by walking them through the basic grip, stance, and swing…and managed to overwhelm them with instructions and paralyze them with too many things to think about.
As a child, I always loved getting new pieces to learn. It was all fresh, new, exciting stuff – and I sounded like garbage. So I’d happily set about learning notes, figuring out bowings and fingerings, and working at things until it sounded better. Progress was usually pretty quick and very satisfying.
But then I’d reach a point where everything seemed to progress more slowly. Where getting to the next level took more and more work, with smaller and smaller improvements to show for it.
I remember my dad showing me this picture when I was a little kid, asking me – “What is this a picture of?”
A duck, I said.
He asked if I saw anything else – which didn’t make sense to me, because all there was to see was a duck.
But when I could finally see that it wasn’t just a duck, I wanted to know which one was the “true” image.