Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Things I Keep Learning

In case you haven't gathered by now, in my free time I sew.  I mentioned this previously, but I rarely use a pattern -- the things I create are simply ideas conjured in my mind.  And I suck at math, so each project is invariably impacted by a math equation gone awry, usually addition, which is sad (but damn those 8s and 6s are hard!).  It feels strange to say that I'm passionate about sewing.  It doesn't seem like a thing one should be passionate about, but I am. There's the idea, the collecting of materials, building the blueprint, hitting a pitfall, discovering a solution, loading the damn bobbin again and again and again, seeing the thing take shape, and then appreciating the finished project.

Because the product is mine, it's easy to see the shortcomings -- the jumped stitch, the imperfect seam, the asymmetry.  Those aren't the things others see.  I know this.  And in so many ways, isn't this life? We always see our weaknesses, sure they are calling the most attention, when others see the creation, the perspective, the whole.

In so many ways, sewing is my teacher (please tell me you caught that little pun). It reminds me that I don't need a predestined path to take me where I want to go, merely the idea, the willingness to rip out a few seams, to snip a bit here or there, and to trust that my vision will be realized.  Sometimes it's a bit discouraging -- I spent 3 hours on this?!?  But other times it's wonderful.  People appreciate the gift, the thought, the labor, the love.  And it works, in the way it's supposed to!  It holds the groceries, it sparks imagination.

So I've taken on this enormous project.  I'm probably 40+ hours in at this point.  And my approach to it is a mirror.  I've never been to The Grotto, but I want to visit.  I feel like it's like that.  I could take a much simpler path, but I keep adorning.  I keep adding, envisioning the new direction it might go. And much as it is a strength, I wonder why it's so challenging for me to see what needs to be done and do merely that.  There's no special award given for the person who does the most.  And, to be clear, it's not about others at all.  It's about me.  Something within that refuses to settle, to be complacent, to accept.  Something insatiable.

Our hobbies can reveal these things about us.  I know I'll be proud of this project.  I truly think it will be the best thing I've made.  But I wonder, why so much?  Whose approval am I seeking?  It's mine. And why must I be such an incredibly unyielding critic?

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