Trials and Errors

I stood in the local Chinese store. You know, the one where you can find all sorts of goods from cups to plastic plates to cheap, mass-produced pictures sold on canvases. Where I stood was my treasure trove. The corner wall, the lighting dimmed, providing an atmospheric euphoria. I was in search of more canvases, plus new acrylic paint. I stood there in front of my wife, who I promised I wouldn’t grab more color as I scored a good thirty percent off at a local art supplier the weekend before. Seeing that I had held a circular canvas, my wife pointed out to another template – not a canvas, providing a bigger surface and boasting of handling acrylic style paintings. It was going to be a trial.

A news headline caught my attention, “Thousands ditch masks for Liverpool rave as United Kingdom trials reopening of large events.” Reading through Abc’s article, I couldn’t help but shake my head. I attended an event that catered for ten thousand people in the same arena, not one mask visible. I live in a country that is currently handling Covid 19 better than the U.S and the U.K. Now I know the backlash to my previous statement could be along the lines of “Who are you to tell us what we can and cannot do.” It is correct, and not going through the crazy lockdowns that are going on in those countries makes me one of the lucky ones. Being holed up all the time would have its toll on the human psyche. 

There I stood in my garage, in front of me, my fold-up table lined in newspaper and my old metal shelving racks. With one eye on the time, the other on the circular board. Time is limited. My wife had left to go out with her work friends for dinner and possibly a drink – the drinks never happened. The younger women were off to a nightclub another forty minutes away. She had already traveled the forty minutes to the venue. I had booked a table for my kids and myself at the local tavern five minutes up the road. 

My mind racing with the design I wanted, my hairdryer ready, my portable heat gun ready, my mix of paints ready. It was time to get into it. The results were gorgeous. I was happy. Inside I went after closing up the garage; there was just enough time to put the son into the shower before heading out. 

Wisteria Dream

Three thousand youngsters, yep youngsters, I am old enough to say that nowadays, reveled in delight over the thought of attending an event that even thinking about makes me tired. The ages between eighteen and twenty needed to be covid free twenty-four hours before the event. The young adults would then be tested again after the rave. This crowded event is only the first. Another hosting five-thousand for a concert headlining a band I hadn’t heard of until today and would be glad not to hear of again. Then, a final one at Wimberly with a massive twenty-one thousand occupants to see the FA Cup. That would be sure to excite the football fans.

My favorite part

These trials will allow scientists to test air quality and how the virus spreads. What were they doing before this, then? The United Kingdom has rolled out its vaccine quickly. Or so we are told. In Australia, the vaccine has been put on hold for those under the age of fifty. With risks of blood clots and possible death, most Australians are wary of taking such a risk with a vaccine that isn’t needed here. Others do not share the same view and jump straight into getting the jab if allowed. Another trial and error, as long as the deaths don’t outway the benefits.

Those cells!

I return from my meal out with the kids; I give them dessert – chocolate each. I tuck them into bed and head out to the garage. I left the light on to see – one switch does not work; rentals are always fun. My eyes immediately spotted the damage. The board layered together with glue was coming undone.

Just like Duran Duran ‘Come Undone’

Covid has a funny way about it. You can clear quarantine and be clear of the virus, but within days, the dormant virus attacks as you start socializing, like a weed in your friendships when the time is right, that weed will emerge and take you with it. The trial happened on Friday night; like mine, the results may not be immediate; like mine, it may take hours, days, weeks before we can tell for sure if venues can open again.

The next day I returned to my garage. A wave had appeared on my painting, a total loss. Trials and errors are a part of life, whether in art, sport, and science. Success can come from failure. The lesson I learned not to use that product again, but the design was beautiful. I can only wait to see the result on my trusted canvases.

Hawaii’s Pipe invading my artwork

 Hopefully, the government-run trials in England have a better success rate than my painting. A loss of art is nothing compared to the loss of life, even if they have awful taste in music. 

How have you handled the trials and errors in your life? Leave a comment.

Stephen Blyse

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