Before my trip, I was quarantined awaiting test results and now I'm snuggled up on the couch in front of the fire sniffling and sneezing. Even though I drove straight to my daughter's house and then straight back home again, without stopping anywhere or talking to anyone, except for gas, and even though we stayed in the whole time I was there, my youngest grandson had a cold when I arrived and the oldest was sniffling as I left. Apparently, they shared. Such sweeties - VBG.
Couch time equals napping, knitting, and thinking time. One thought I've been pondering a lot lately is that today is the future of yesterday. The author of the spiritual study I've been doing this year writes in future tense and as the year passed, it began to irritate me more and more. What about now? What about what already exists? Most self help, coaching, or goal setting type books also talk in future tense and it's not all bad even as it's not all good. The future never exists. It's an endlessly moving point that may or may not unfold as we think and hope. Things happen. Life shifts. Today is all there is.
I've thought about this from the perspective of creating products to sell because no matter how amazing they are or how hard I work there is no guarantee a product will sell. I've also thought about it from the perspective of how I occupy my time. This day will pass whether I am doing things that nurture me or things that do not and having spent significant time, money, and energy in the past on ideas that didn't pan out, I want to - as much as I am able - focus my future, which is presented in the form of today, on what nurtures me. If the desired outcome never happened, would the process be enough? As I age, that's an increasingly important question.
Along with a good question, another thing I love is learning. I've been watching numerous acrylic painting and mixed media videos on YouTube and there are many aspects I can't relate to even as I'm learning techniques to use for my fireplace painting. In one video, the artist, who lived in a very small space, was pulling out boxes and suitcases filled with different kinds of art journals that she had stashed away. Her point was to illustrate the different forms only my mind got stuck on how many there were, that they were everywhere taking up valuable real estate, and wondering what do you do with those anyway?
My reaction to the video led to some interesting conversations with friends about what we do just for fun. I already knew that I was more of a minimalist and that having too many of any one thing is not how I function however, I also discovered that I'm far more practical than I thought except that I have some quirks of my own that others don't understand and that's okay. How boring if we were all the same.
One quirk that seems to really confuse others is that I'll often - as in quite often - sew or knit something, decide that it doesn't work for me, cut it up or unravel it, and make something else. Most of the time, it's not about whether it looks good on me, it's about whether it feels right. The cardigan above started as an eight panel skirt. Somehow I managed to cut the pieces out with a large yellow flower in each section right at the hipline which was very unflattering. I tried to break up the line by adding appliques and that didn't work either. In the end, I cut it into small sections, pieced them with the seams to the right side, and added sleeves from a thrifted top. This is me. I like it. I even wear it...
... which is another quirk that confuses people - how often I sew labour intensive pieces that I don't wear. I've probably spent the most time thinking about this concept wondering why and if it's something I should be attempting to change and my conclusion is no. This is my equivalent of a pile of art journals stashed under the bed. I have no problem with single occasion clothing like the pants I sewed for Christmas. Nor do I have a problem spending hours and hours on something that I won't wear even if it did fit me. This particular coat is a child's size three and was made from double sided wool fabric I found in the bargain section for $2.00 a meter. I bought lots in both a black/orange combo and a black/lime combo and created several little coats incorporating techniques I wouldn't normally wear. I also made a coat for myself using a pattern I thought I'd like only it was way too much fabric for my frame. I cut it up immediately because I wouldn't wear it and it eventually became something else. When I'd made a dozen little girl coats, that was my limit of too many. A few were sold. Most were given away. I haven't made another one since.
These details are from two more of the coats. On the left, I wanted to try a technique from Kat Wise's work and on the right, I wanted to see what I could do with serger strips. Both were what if and how can I experiments. Samples, basically. I am thankful that although I am quite practical, I am also able to make something just because I'm curious. More often ...
... that curiosity leads to handbags or garments that I won't use and occasionally it becomes a piece I really enjoy. This t-shirt was made from recycled black t-shirts that were spritzed with a bleach/water mix and then pieced together into yardage that was then cut out using one of my T & T patterns. This piece isn't in my closet anymore but when it was, I wore it all the time. It felt right.
You've probably heard Annie Dillard's quote - How we spend our days is, of course how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing.
As I think about what the new year holds and where I want to invest my time, money, and energy, I am keeping in mind that today is all there is and while I might work on goals I hope will come to fruition, they may not and so I want to spend the process in a way that nurtures and feels like me.
What nurtures you?
Talk soon - MyrnaGrateful
- a couch to curl up on on and a fire to sit in front of