On Making and Doing and Being

If you’ve been around my blog for a while (I’m talking years), you know that I was pretty immersed in sewing for a while. Like most things, it’s hard to see the scope of the picture when you are in it. It’s only been in retrospect that I’ve realized just how much I sewed in the past: scanning through gigs upon gigs of folders of photos of things I made, seeing towering stacks of handmades, hearing people remind me what I stitched for them and how much they still love it.

My energy shifted back in 2011 or so. It was a mix of many things, like learning to knit, a budding passion for gardening. But mostly, it was moving house. Around then, I commandeered a small room in our basement and turned it into what I dubbed “mon petit atelier.” When I think about this predicament, the song Little Room by The White Stripes pops in my head. While I’m grateful to have a space devoted to sewing (and somewhere I can sneak away to and create), I’m just not inspired in that room. The main creative leech is the artificial lighting. There is something about fluorescent lights that makes my stomach turn.

But even if I wanted to sew, I’ve been such a do-er lately that I’m not saving energy to make. (I’ve even been a bit slack on knitting.) Some people have expressed concern that I’m running myself ragged. Keeping busy and active is my go-to way to deal with stress. I have a hard time sitting down for too long. But from this moment on, I’m vowing to take it a little easier. Still keep busy but no longer to the point of hurting myself.

But most importantly I fear I’m forgetting how to be, forgetting the importance of just being. Now, the more I do, the less I make and be, the more left brained I become, which, ironically, just makes me unhappy in the long run. I’m constantly seeking that merga, the middle ground, where I am sated spiritually, emotionally and physically. I need tasks that make my heart swell (or even ache) as well as ones that offer methodical behavior as well as ones that make my muscles sore. I am sorry that my blog is so devoid of its roots: making (à la sewing, knitting.) The reason I haven’t been posting too much is to avoid boring you all with too much talk about gardening (and chickens) but its the closest thing I have right now to finding balance within myself.

Do you want to hear more about how the garden is growing and other things on the farm here? Or should I just wait until I have decent crafty things to share? Also, do you have any tips on how you balance these three things—making, doing and being?