30 April 2015

Freshly Squeezed Newborn Baby Blanket

 I didn't realize until earlier this year, how far away from my own artistic endeavors I've gotten in the past few years.  I'd been so focused on external matters, being a caregiver, being a good citizen and giving back in my community, and being an encouraging person for other people and their creative efforts that I'd forgotten myself and my own creativity, my own needs, my own desires.  Then, a few months back, I was thinking about how this one woman I know has delved further into her art as a release from the more stressful and less creative obligations in her daily life.

A light bulb lit up, the bright hot filaments burning away some of the haze clouding my vision.  My aha! moment stretched into a whole hour, or perhaps week's worth of moments.  Instead of thinking, "I can't perform quality work at this time when I am so distracted, so overwhelmed, so tired, so stressed, so whatever", I could shift my perspective to something like, "being creative is not only an indulgence, but it also will help me in ways that are essential for my health and well being".

Now, theoretically, I knew that.  But in practice, I didn't apply that to myself.  For a very long time.  Years, even.

So I decided to do something about that.  Some days I don't remember to play with yarn.  And that's ok.

I visited the library the other day, and checked out more books than I have in quite some time, just to read at my leisure because I want to loll about in bed, in my jammies, and just read all day, and night, into the next day ~~ sleeping and eating when I want, because I have nothing due at a certain time.  Because that vague but threatening feeling of "or else" has overshadowed me and robbed some of the joy I had found in doing things that I used to like doing, turning them into obligations and chores.  Reading allows me to dust off the imagination and flex those wings, stretching them creakily to take a few rusty flaps at flying.  My brain takes a huge healthy yawn and settles in for some mental adventures of various characters through the years.  Oh, yes.

Over the past few months, I've started to knit again on a more regular basis.  I'm basically using the same pattern, creating chevrons, in both stockinette and garter.  I'm letting my own curiosity creep out cautiously and poke its paw into matters.  I'm indulging my desire to know, what happens if I use this yarn?  Made of this fiber?  What about cotton?  How about this fuzzy stuff?  What about this bulkier sort?  What about if I use these bamboo needles?  Or this size needle with that weight yarn?

Eventually, I'll move into trying this number of stitches, that depth of chevron, this width of stripe,   Then I might get more adventurous with colorways, color combos, yarn combos, and so forth.  Or I might move on to a completely different stitch, pattern, or technique.  Who knows?  Cuz that's part of nurturing that creativity for yourself, you can learn to go with that flow, and go where it goes, and see what's what along the way.

So to that woman who probably has little or perhaps absolutely no idea what sort of inspiration she has ignited for me, thanks for being an artist, for sharing your art, and for being an exemplary example for me and others...just by being you and living your life as you do.  Thanks for being you.

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