Monday, July 02, 2007


This last week, therapy touched upon, oddly enough, my ADD when it comes to arts and crafts. I love arts and crafts. Writing, knitting, sewing, drawing, painting, all of it. But like so many others out there, I have a huge pile of unfinished projects.

I'll go to a craft store, find a yarn that sings to me its siren's song. I can see a shawl so clearly, done in that yarn, with an open gage. It would be so soft, so feminine, so pretty.

So I'll buy the yarn, the right size needles, etc. and tote it all home. Maybe I'll even go so far as to cast on and throw a few rows. But then the clack of the needles stills, and the yarn just sits there, alone, unused. I'll clean up the house for guests, see the project still laying where I'd abandoned it weeks before, and with a little sigh of regret, I'll banish it to the Land of Unfinished Crafts.

It wasn't that I stopped being able to picture that lovely shawl that first caught my imagination in the store. I can still see it, gauzy and fine, hanging around the shoulders of an imaginary form.

It's that I began to fear that vision. Where it could lead me. What if I got all wrapped up in the project? What if I let it consume me? The inspiration leads to chaos - knitting without a pattern.

And that is my great fear - my fear of letting go. If you were to ask me what vision haunts me when the drugs get weak, it is a vision of me, standing on the edge, and just ... stepping off. Letting go.

What chaos that would wreak!

Now, take my Craft ADD to something that means even more to me: writing. I love putting words together. Finding just the right way to express a feeling, a sentiment. I get giddy when people laugh at something silly I wrote. I feel honored when someone finds truth in something scary I wrote.

When I picture myself writing, I see chaos. Papers strewn around me, tacked to the walls, stacked on my desk. I see myself forgetting things like bedtime and meals.

When inspiration hits, the force it generates in me is so powerful, it can call me out of bed in the middle of the night, desperate to get the idea down. And then, it scares me. I can't control it. I don't know where the inspiration might take me, where it might lead, the chaos it might create. So I back off. And another note gets filed away in another notebook, tossed away with the recycling the next time I clean house.

Maybe it's time to let go. I've kept everything under tight control for thirty-odd years, and this is as far as its gotten me. Maybe it's time to let go, and let inspiration set my course.


Blogger Mary said...

Just how odd were those "thirty-odd" years? Kidding, just kidding... my own were quite odd. Still are, now that I think about it. But at least I'm enjoying the ride.

I just read a book on clutter. The woman who wrote it said that twice in her life she lost all of her possessions and had to start all over again from nothing.
Apparently it was an intensely frightening experience each time, but she said that also after awhile it was intensely freeing. I could see a certain feeling of lightness if you simply let all these things go. Like a hot air balloon that's lost the clutter that was weighing it down, you would soar. (And no, I'm not comparing you to anything that contains hot air, neither a balloon nor politician.)

Motley Fool has a board on how to Get Organized. I read a post once from a woman who'd decided to Freecycle all the crap she had in her garage. Another woman emailed her eagerly asking for all of it. (And this included things that no reasonable person could possible want for themselves, e.g. a couple pairs of industrial-use ear muffs, things of that nature.)

In the email, the second woman said she'd just lost everything she owned in a fire. It is possible also that the woman was seeking things she could sell on eBay, and cynical as it sounds I do hope that was the truth. It's sad to think of someone who's lost all their possessions and who is so desolated at the loss that they will try to cover up their lack of stuff by owning something -- anything -- so long as it fills the void in their life.

Damn but migraines make me wordy.

8:17 PM, July 02, 2007  
Blogger McB said...

I'm trying to visualize what an obsession with crafts and writing could result in. And the picture I'm getting is ...


Let it go, darlin'. You just might find that these things will ultimately free you. This from the woman who just downloaded a baby afghan pattern after visiting Michaels last night.

6:35 AM, July 03, 2007  
Anonymous Lou said...

Some of the greatest creative minds are the ones that get carried away into the chaos. What results is brilliance!!

Time to let go.

1:27 PM, July 03, 2007  
Blogger orangehands said...


wait, let me try to be more prolific...


hmmm, didn't work.

seriously though, let it go and write (for arts and crafts too) and discover what it means to be free of some holds and going after the story with everything in you. Just Write, and feel the joy and the scaryness of it all. because seriously, you've made me laugh and you've made me think and you've made me think of things i don't usually think about.

10:51 AM, July 05, 2007  
Blogger inkgrrl said...

Oh right there with you on the fear of spiraling into chaos. Control is an illusion, holding on tight is just a way to shove the good juicy stuff down deep. It never goes away, thank Kali ;-)

12:23 PM, July 06, 2007  
Blogger GatorPerson said...

Been missing your wonderful words of wisdom over at the B&G.

6:34 PM, July 30, 2007  
Blogger Sheryl said...

I hope things are starting to settle down in Cary's busy world. Haven't heard from you for a while, just a dash through the door to grab a margarita and out the back door. Not sure if you've seen us all wave and cheer you on.

2:56 PM, October 01, 2007  
Blogger Keziah Fenton said...

We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas and
a Happy New Year!!!!

Give Fred and Clarke hugs and treats from Ky and I


8:10 PM, December 23, 2007  
Anonymous Diane(TT) said...

Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen when the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shone the moon that night, though the frost was cruel, when a poor man came in sight, gath'ring winter's fuel.

"Hither, page and stand by me, if thou know'st it, telling. Yonder poor man, who is he, where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain. Right against the forest fence, by St. Agnes fountain".

"Bring me flesh and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither, thou and I shall see him dine, when we bear them thither."
Page and monarch forth they went, forth they went together, through the cold wind's wild lament and the bitter weather.

"Sire, the night is darker now, and the wind blows stronger. Fails my heart, I know not how, I can go no longer".
"Mark my footsteps, my good page, tread thou in them boldly. Thou shald find the winter's rage freeze thy blood less coldly."

In his master's steps he trod, where the snow lay dinted. Heat was in the very sod which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christians all, be sure, wealth or rank possessing. Ye who now will bless the poor, shall yourselves find blessing.

One that's hard to stop in the middle of - also, I couldn't find you last night, so I'm atoning with extra typing.

Merry Christmas!

2:49 AM, December 24, 2007  
Blogger Robin said...

It came upon a midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold,
Peace on the earth
Goodwill to men
From heaven's all gracious King
The world in silent stillness lay to hear the angels sing.

Merry Christmas Cary. Knowing you on the blog adds much joy to my year. I hope this year is the brightest and happiest yet.

7:59 AM, December 24, 2007  
Blogger BCB said...

Merry Christmas, Cary! I feel like I should sing "over the river and through the woods" because that's about what I had to do to find your blog again! But I found this song the other day while looking for other lyrics and reading your comment at the B&G about the gift calamity made me think of it. So this is just for you:

Christmas For Cowboys
S. Weisberg (c) 1975

Tall in the saddle we spend Christmas day
Driving the cattle on the snow-covered plains.
All of the good gifts given today;
Ours is the sky and the wide open range.

Back in the cities, they have different ways,
Football and eggnog and Christmas parades.
I'll take the blanket; I'll take the reins;
Christmas for Cowboys and wide open plains.

A campfire for warmth as we stop for the night;
The stars overhead are the Christmas-tree lights.
The wind sings a hymn as we bow down to pray;
Christmas for Cowboys and the wide open plains.

It's tall in the saddle we spend Christmas Day,
Driving the cattle on the snow-covered plains.
So many gifts have been opened today;
Ours is the sky and the wide open range.
It's Christmas for Cowboys and wide open plains.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and that all those near (and maybe dear) to you appreciate the precious and valuable gifts of your friendship and affection. Stay cool and keep warm!

12:02 PM, December 25, 2007  

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