Today was the first major snowstorm of the season; we’ve had nearly 9″ of snow just in the last eight hours. I forget how much snow slows things down; I forget to allow for Snow Time when planning my day. Snow Time means you have to set aside ten extra minutes before walking the dog for getting on Warm Things, finding the other mitten, lacing up your snow boots, clearing the stairs, and ten minutes afterwards for taking all the stuff off, hanging it up, and wiping down one’s snow-delighted pooch.
It also means setting aside a couple hours of one’s day for Shoveling. I’ve shoveled twice today; it’s easier on one’s body to do 4 inches of fluffy snow twice than to do 8 inches of any snow once. (I learned this the hard way my first winter here.)
All that Snow Time means I almost didn’t get today’s post written. However, I am determined not to let winter win…
I just want you to know that I do read all your comments, sometimes more than once. One of the comments to yesterday’s entry was especially pointed: “Set up your damn studio and let me live vicariously through you. My vicarious joy is now your report card. ”
Thanks, Kat…loved that. It really woke me up when you said that it was a bit painful to read about how I had the time and the luxury of being able to craft, and yet was not doing so. That was something I needed to hear. And not because, “Oh, I’m making Kat upset, I’d better pull it together for her” but because of what I believe about the gifts we are all given.
Everyone’s been given something. Some of you have been given the ability to have children; some of you have been given the ability to work with complex computing environments, some of you can code, some of you can sew, some of you can sing, or dance, or paint, or decorate a home so it is both beautiful and comfortable (those of you in the latter category, please feel free to come on over, anytime). Me, I’ve been given a lot of things: Creativity, skill with writing, an adorable and supportive husband, time, and so forth.
What I believe is that the gifts we have been given aren’t meant to be hoarded; they are meant to be shared. I wasn’t given this gift of writing just so I could go off into a corner by myself and write secret journal entries to my fairy godmother. I’ve known since I was ten years old that I was meant to write Things Other People Would Read. I’ve spent a lot of years not knowing what I was supposed to write about; there are days when I still question this, feeling as though within me there’s still a particular story I haven’t told yet, a book I haven’t imagined yet.
But I do know that I’m meant to write, and that I’m meant to write for you. So if I don’t write, then in a way, I’m being selfish, because the stuff I write, in some way that I haven’t really figured out yet, is For Other Folks, as well as for myself.
And throughout my life, it has been the act of Making that keeps my little writer’s bucket full of Good, full of Energy, full of Depth and Passion and all the strong things that a writer needs to face the empty screen each day. So if I don’t craft, if I don’t set aside time to Make and Create, then my bucket runs dry…and I don’t have anything left to give to my community.
I’m still kind of avoiding the fact that What I Make is in and of itself valuable. My craft isn’t just something to fill up my bucket, it also fills up YOUR buckets in ways that I don’t fully understand. There’s something here, something in Craft, something in the Making, that weaves in and around us, tying us together in a wild unseen tapestry, a tapestry that brings more life, more energy, more joy, and more passion as the weft dances around and around the warp of Making.
I just remembered something. Back when I first learned how to spin, my boyfriend at the time surprised me by buying me an Ashford Elizabeth spinning wheel. This being a pretty pricey gift, I protested and argued with him, but he insisted. As we left the spinning shop with the wheel, he let it slip that his parents had also contributed money towards this amazing gift. When I asked him why they were all doing this for me, he answered, “Because the world will be a better place if you have a spinning wheel, and enjoying spinning on it.”
Crafting makes the world a better place. We are richer for doing it. I have more resources to Make and Create than some do, plus I have the talent to write with passion and humour so that others can share in the joy of making with me. Both crafting and writing are ways in which I contribute to the health of our community. This remains true even if I don’t understand how it all works.
I think I’d better get on with setting up my damn studio, then.
Today’s Random Good
If you have not discovered Allie’s blog, then do yourself a HUGE favour and click here. Allie is one of my favourite bloggers; her writing is delightful, but it is her stick-figure illustrations which make her stories as funny as anything I’ve ever read. (The post on moving with dogs had my CRYING with laughter, because Been There, Had That Animal Only It Was A Cat.)
Give yourself time to click on each of her Best Of stories on the right side. Don’t be drinking anything hot or sticky when you do, though. Keyboards are hard to clean.