in which this thing is still happening


It’s fresh and clean and just barely crisp outside today— this just seemed perfect and right for the color inspiration of the week.

There is clematis in our front yard. There’s a real joy to moving into a place in the winter; you’ve no idea what’s been planted before you’ve gotten there, and spring is a bit of a surprise; we have irises on the side of the house, daffodils in the far corner, and surprise! NOT morning glories, but clematis going gangbusters out by the front door. I’m about to plant some lavender along the side, once the seedlings have hardened off and it looks like we’re past the worst of the frost, but I’ve been loving this unpredictability.

Wallowing in processes which are spontaneous and organically fluid, unpredictable and dynamic, that’s really been my thing lately. In my twenties and even bleeding into my early thirties, I would go to far riskier places for my endorphin rush- extreme workouts, self abuse, over- work, war zones- but I find unpredictability a much more enjoyable (and productive) space. Finding self- worth in my thirties helped, and there’s something rather obviously invigorating about keeping a little off- balance in my free time. Sam jokes that I don’t really keep still, but it’s more than that. I think about things like my fine motor skills, and retaining cognitive flexibility; we keep these things by using them, by learning new skills, by using our hands in a variety of different ways. I’ll fall apart eventually- we all do- but I’d like to have a good time getting there, make as many gifts as possible before I go, and boof: there’s just so much to know, especially when it comes to knowing how to make.

I’m not sure what I’ll make using this palette, but it’s bound to be something; I’m kind of in love with this one. I have another example coming next week of how an image that doesn’t always look like a whole heck of a lot can still be used for inspiration if you like the central color/s: we’ll talk about it when we get there, though. And: for those who asked, I’ve opened up a Society6 shop, although there are only a few things on there right now; folks kept asking for art, and I’ll sell originals on Etsy, but also: this. I don’t know, it’s weird for me for some reason- really no good reason at all- so I’m just putting it out there and getting that over and done. More being uncomfortable. It’s good for me!

Tell me about the things that you do which make you feel awkward or a little uncomfortable but are good for you in the end. Not the crappy ones, like getting your tetanus shot (totally DO THAT, but that’s not what I mean) but those other acts that we enter into, maybe with a little apprehension or anticipation but always uncertainty and unsteadiness—participating in a new situation, learning a brand new skill, doing something old an entirely new way.

  One thought on “in which this thing is still happening

  1. May 17, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Yeah. Love the art. Love. It.

    • May 17, 2016 at 6:32 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m finding it strangely difficult to put it out there, despite really enjoying seeing it as duvet covers, shirts, etc- I can charge money for yarn, or to teach, but a painting? NOPE, that is weird, apparently. Except it isn’t, I just need to get over the idea, right? AGH ART IS WEIRD AND SO IS THE EGO.

      • May 18, 2016 at 12:49 am

        Word! It takes time to switch arty gears. Right now you’re probably fully in imposter stage (‘Who me? An artist?’) but you can remind the Doubty McDoubterson part of your mind that really, what you’re doing isn’t so different from your art with yarn and colours. You’re just using a wider/differently shaped canvas now.

      • May 18, 2016 at 7:27 pm

        Whhhhhoooeeee, you totally called that one. I was talking myself down this morning, straight walking myself through it, all: “This is just like with the yarn and the writing, stop being a jerk.” ART, friend. I was an athlete and that shit had NOTHING on art.

  2. May 17, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    OK–a thing that makes me feel crappy but is good for me in the end: learning a hard piano accompaniment in 10 days so I can play the Toreador Song with my Jr. High grandson when he plays his trombone solo at school. I wanted to wait until my semester was over to start learning the music so it was my own fault I only had 10 days.

    • May 17, 2016 at 6:33 pm

      You’re fitting so much into such a short span of time! You’re going to be so happy once you’ve done that, for a bunch of reasons. 🙂 Also, hot damn, a trombone player? That’s awesome- good on your grandson! It takes a good ear to play a trombone. Best of luck, love!

  3. Sheila
    May 17, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    I’m working on board certification in Critical Care. I’m an ICU pharmacist already, my employer doesn’t require the certification, but I know I’ll be a better pharmacist if I do it…the exam is a bear, and I’m scared, but life witout challenges is just existing. Kudos for expanding your art and putting yourself out there. On the use my front: one day, soon, I will learn to double knit ….I’ve got the pattern and the yarn, now to learn the skill…and then, the final bugbear, brioche!

    • May 25, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      Brioche is something I STILL haven’t mastered. It’s gorgeous, though, and on my list. I can only haltingly get through the stitch right now, but it’s so worth learning- all those gorgeous patterns!

      You’re taking on SUCH a major task, and you don’t even officially need to- good on you! I love the idea of doing a thing because it’s just there to be done and it’s a good idea. When is your test? All the best/ break a leg!

  4. Sheila
    May 17, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Argh: “on the yarny front”, not “use my front” (somewhat risque!) Stupid autocorrect

    • May 25, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      I want to start collecting a list of the ways in which auto- correct has humiliated me, really. It is the WORST. 🙂

  5. May 18, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Yay, clematis! So lovely.

    One of the biggest uncomfortable things I do that is actually good for me is interacting with people face to face. I’m an introvert by nature but it’s really easy for me to get my head lost way up my own ass when I go for days at a time basically only speaking to my husband and my dog.

    • May 18, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      This is so me. I work from home, so I’m basically performing any time I leave the house. I’m really good at it, but that’s totally the gig.

      • May 18, 2016 at 7:45 pm

        I’m super NOT good at it, so I need the practice. 😉

  6. The Knitwit
    May 19, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    My yarn dyeing is fun and a bit out of my comfort zone but I hear your voice saying “It’s just yarn”.

    What’s making me “uncomfortable” is trying to figure out how to set up an online shop, find a name and I worry about all the things I’m forgetting!

    • May 25, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      Oh, BRANDING. That’s the WORST, honestly. I bandied names around with friends forever. Try things out before you commit- naming is always so had for me too!!

      And it is ALWAYS just yarn!

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