Project whistle.

For a long bit, whenever I’m determined to learn something new, it feels near impossible, or maybe a little closer than near – like pretty much totally impossible.  Not the often caffeine-induced moment of inspiration, that moment’s totally cool and confident.  It’s the long pause after the initial spike, when I’m typically reaching for chocolate, desperately trying to recreate my initial high. 

Ira glass said it well…

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”


For example, I’m trying to learn how to whistle loudly.  Sounds like a strange goal, but farm animals listen to whistles, and I’d like them to one day listen to me.  I’m also aware that whistling isn’t often categorized under the “art” which Ira was referring to above.  But, I actually believe that pretty much everything falls under “art” when one is surrendering to the process of mastering it.

And you guessed it – for the first 5 weeks after I declared that I’d be whistling by Halloween, I feared that I was NEVER GONNA LEARN how to whistle.  My mom, a pro-whistler, actually advised I push my finish-line back to Christmas.  I’ve worried my mouth is fundamentally shaped wrong.  I’ve darn near passed out trying.  I’ve even watched Youtube videos, involving close-ups of stranger’s mouths – like THIS and THIS.  I mean, really.

I still can’t whistle, but something happened yesterday.  There I was, watching another Youtube Video and my mouth began feeling just a little different.  I knew something was happening, and there it was –  I almost whistled.  One time, and only 50%, but I felt it.  It was real.  I tried again today with no luck, but it doesn’t matter.  I’ve trudged through the darkness, and I was given the gift of a teensy-weensy bit of light.  I need a permanent post-it note for this lesson, as it repeats itself with wild abandon.

I’ll keep you updated regarding project whistle.

xo – Organic Spark


  • Mom

    Can I say how proud I am of your perseverance and how grateful for the teensy bit of whistling affirmation you received? Believing we can is such a tool. And I want to know more about that growing tent thingy you’re sitting in. Plus the puppies are little champs! Such growth…all over ALF!

    October 17, 2011
  • Thank you for your heartfelt post (and the wonderful photos and video!)– I sent the quote to my son who is an aspiring composer. I’m sure he will be able to relate.

    October 17, 2011
  • Molly this is such a sweet post. Funny how the simplest of things can be so complex. Love the quote by Glass. That is exactly where I am in my photography career & creative pursuits.

    October 17, 2011
  • Pavil, the Uber Noob

    You might invest in a store bought. Until then, it ‘giddy up’ and ‘so boss’. :)

    October 17, 2011
  • You are too cute. It’s great that you are sticking to it and continuing to work on it. Do you feel a bit like a kid again? I remember spending hours upon hours learning how to whistle and practicing any chance I had.Can’t wait to hear how it goes and when the “lightbulb” moment happens.

    October 17, 2011
  • determination, passion, gumption, and focus – you encompass all of those qualities. you will be whistling before you know it!

    October 17, 2011
  • Doesnt matter the goal… what matters is if we have the drive and determination to reach it. I’d say that you do! :)

    October 17, 2011
  • good luck with the whistling – and love that quote from Ira Glass – someone had posted it on Facebook recently and it’s just so spot on in many ways. Love the pic of the water coming out of the watering can – whether it’s spooky tunes for Halloween or Christmas Carols – you will be whistling soon.

    October 17, 2011
  • These photos of you are breathtaking. Is it the light where you live? I love seeing you in the moment.

    October 17, 2011
  • This story came at just the right moment to remind me of the PROCESS we are all attempting. Being creative and expressing ourselves–be it on the page, on a blog, or out on the farm with a whistle–requires constant practice and belief in oneself. Thank you for reminding me about perseverance.

    October 17, 2011
  • Dad


    OK, you’ve inspired me. By the next time I come to the farm I’ll be able to whistle without my fingers. Don’t call for the next two months just in case I’m a little whistle challenged. Hi to the guys and Maria. Tell them Hugo sends his best.


    October 18, 2011
  • This was such a sweet post :) I, too, had trouble with whistling (at first getting any sound to come out at all and then trying to really trying to push the air through. So glad you are staying persistent and staying encouraged by uplifting quotes.

    Your blog is so wonderful, and your passion for food is so sincere!

    November 8, 2011

Leave a comment


Email(will not be published)*


Your comment*

Submit Comment