One way to clean up unfinished projects is to send them to the trash, whether orphaned stitching or writing. But I have learned by being too brutal with clean-up, things I think I don’t need or won’t use, inevitably find a purpose when it’s too late to undo “delete.” I’m not prone to regret and can learn from my mistakes. So I’ve decided to rely on a bit of recycling by reviewing several unpublished (and undeleted) posts whose stream-of-consciousness spewing had failed to steep or distill the lessons hidden within. I miss working on my blog and so revisiting these bits of writing is one way to steal time for storytelling, starting now.
Time to consider:
Do I really need three projects going at the same time and deadlines for each, whether self-imposed or the call-for-entry kind?
Must I continue to explore the open arms of blank sketchbook pages?
Should I keep making my materials and tools from scratch?
Or hunting for materials in parking lots and thrift shops?
Should I not practice the ukulele or hand spinning wool when I'm still learning? Not take workshops?
Not travel or take photographs? Walk?
How can I manage the discontent that erupts between the tides of the full moon? I becoming clearer already...I spend too much time questioning.
The Lesson List
▪ Use what you have.
▪ Whether working on a hand stitching project or discovering the next one in the chatter of the subconscious, the path is long and circuitous.
▪ Be kinder to oneself.
▪ Daydreaming is essential.
▪ Show gratitude.
▪ Learning something new is an exercise in humility. Practice. Patience.
▪ Progress is relative to attitude.
▪ Wrestling with vulnerability, insecurity and doubt are ongoing.
▪ Words are important to me; make time to make some.
▪ Listening and looking are necessary.
▪ Notice patterns of all kinds.
▪ Edit inspiration. Edit but sometimes save for later.
▪ Raw tips of tired fingers should wear thimbles and rest.
▪ Skill is sometimes hidden in the details.
▪ Support other artists.
▪ Trust the process (and the postal service.)
▪ Decisions work themselves out.
▪ Embrace the blur of change.
▪ Keep breathing.
▪ Keep starting.
▪ Keep trying.
▪ Keep finishing.
▪ Don’t be afraid to ask.
Are my stitches tidy enough? Are the values balanced? Will these pieces of cloth,
unraveled edges and scraggly threads adequately convey my intention?
Am I serving the story effectively? Will they find an antidote to Alzheimer’s disease in
time? Does facing one’s life help heal the loss?
• Keep true to your passion (especially when sidelined by negative voices).
It’s the rough edge of the highway that jolts us on back on track.
▪ Listen to good advice. (“…validation doesn't come around that often, best mark it down when it does.” John Hopper)
Happy New Year!
Previous Ideas in Cloth can be found here.
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