Yesterday I went through my sewing OPPs. It ended up being a draining, terrible experience. Kind of funny, because the rest of the family had no idea I was having an attack of the Inner-Crazy-Sadness. It’s good to be a stoic mom. That means when shit goes wrong, no one cares or notices much. Hey, wait a minute.
So first off, throwing out, cutting up, or moving on my unfinished sewing projects? It just sucks. It’s like looking at my creative life through a lens of failure. A few minutes into it and I’ve forgotten these projects – I think there were about five in all – are the sum total of all those things I didn’t finish from the last two years. It takes so long taking stitches out and packaging up unfinished potholders and cutting the busks out of a corset that soon it seems all I’ve done, ever, is fail. It’s easy to forget my accomplishments. It’s easy to forget how I feel when I sew and it’s going well. It’s impossible to see these items as my husband calls them: “learning experiences”. Huh. Yeah. Learning I suck at being a man my whole life.
After this demoralizing experience (one pattern still lies under my table, wadded up and needing ironing and scanning and re-assembly) I likely shouldn’t have gone through the kids’ old clothes and the toys that need to move on. It tears me up inside to cull the children’s items – donating to the Salvation Army, recycling, throwing out. Most people who know me wouldn’t suspect this. I keep a tidy house, I’m told. “You don’t have very much stuff!” people say (usually admiringly). But: there is a cost, and the cost is Letting Go. Some people spend their lives avoiding this. They eventually die with a bunch of shit left over for other people to deal with. It doesn’t matter either way – you don’t take anything with you, not your prized whats-it nor your thrift store “scores” or the antique fuckery from your Grandma Whozit. You step out of it all like stepping naked into a pool. Yet neither do you take the “Neat & Organized” trophy either for being a Good Girl and not having Clutter. I know these things.
Still, it’s important for me to travel light as possible (which is not very possible, as I live with three other people and I can’t just throw their things out willy-nilly, although can’t you tell I kind of fantasize about that). I take things into my home, and I remove them, in a measured, steady fashion. Because I enjoy being able to move through and work with and love in my space – to feel peace as I work. I take joy in the moment and what I have, not those things that we burden ourselves with, new or shabby, that give us so much comfort (and, alternatively, despair).
So, I like a sparing life, if I can get it. It’s just… folding up my kids’ clothes and putting them in the donation box, I feel like I’m taking apart my babies and my memories of them. It hurts, badly. Every time.
I’m taking a break from my Farbenmix project and doing some handsewing. It’s a trip. You start out slow and get faster and faster and it’s oddly soothing. My kids seem to like my handsewing and knitting because it means I sit down in the living room. They gather and play around me. After a while I realize they’re hungry and I rise to serve beans, homemade bread, and do dishes (again). The house fils up with the smell of cooking and my kids and husband praise me from high to low.
The sun comes through the window and feels amazing. It is impossible for me to get too sad on sunny days.