Friday, November 21, 2008

Still a liar

I said none of that emotional stuff here. I changed my mind. Only on Friday. Because when I cook, sew, knit -- it's all filled with emotion. And part of me thinks the why of it all is so important.

These three things have one thing in common. I get lost in the activity. So much so that I can forget everything else. Even eating. Well, except when I'm cooking.

When I cook, I taste along the way. Thing is that I often taste so much that I'm not hungry once it's all done. I think I mentioned that before. Often the food in photos is just for that purpose. After the photo has been taken, I wrap the food up and put it away in the fridge for the next day.

Knitting is a little better. Except at some point my wrists or elbows start to ache. Back when I was in college, I gave myself tennis elbow from knitting. Or at least that's what the nurse told me. So with knitting, I pace myself.

There is no pain from sewing. I can remember times that I sat in front of the sewing machine for ten, twelve hours. And then I would remember that except for juice, I had not put anything into my stomach. I would light a cigarette and rest it in the ashtray after taking the initial puff. When I looked again, it would have burned out, completely spent. I lose myself in fabric.

At one point in undergrad, I went to talk with a design school. I remember saying how I can look at a bolt of fabric and see the finished piece in my mind. I remember describing this to my aunt. She told me that not everyone can see this. I was shocked because I had always thought that everyone else could see what I saw.

During undergrad, my wardrobe was mostly a mixture of things that I made and things that I bought at thrift/vintage stores. And the things that I made? Once folks learned that I had made them, they would ask me to make the same for them.

There were two things that kept me sane during my time in law school -- sewing and photography. During those years, I created a stuffed animal wearing an outfit. I made it for my little cousin around Easter and made her a dress that matched the one her new stuffed animal was wearing. Her mother suggested that I change the colors on the dress as the animal was a symbol for a sorority. I made one for her to give to a friend but before I gave it to her I showed it some of my classmates. I got orders for more. And I made one for my dad's older sister as well. She told me that all her sorors, upon seeing it, wanted one as well. But I was busy with school. When I decided to leave law school, one of my dad's brothers mentioned the stuffed animals. (Actually this would be the uncle who pissed me off in the planning of my aunt's funeral back in July. I think we found peace at my stepmother's funeral though.) He wanted me to calculate start up costs because he was willing to invest.

The thing that has stopped me over the years is my mother's voice in my head. "This is something you do as an avocation, not a vocation." That's something with which I've battled. How could someone who claims that they think highly of me have so little trust in my abilities? Because everyone in my family -- my father's side as well as my mother's -- believed in my abilities. It was just my mother who thought that I was setting myself up for failure. And so now I wonder what could have been if I hadn't walked around for so many years with that voice in my head.

And now after all these years, I am ready to stop listening to that voice. I'm ready to re-commit myself to that which I love so much that I can even forget about food. Because I am now starting to realize that this is what the whole blogging thing has really been about. Being able to take the real risks.


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