THE THINGS I MAKE

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March 29, 2008
I have been making many things with my hands lately. It’s oddly empowering. I made some wool soakers for my daughter to wear over her cloth diapers. I made a beautiful tote bag for myself, out of a big skirt that I transformed. I made a nice cotton summer dress for the baby and also a linen skirt for myself. I know. Nothing for my husband. Actually, the food that I make is mostly for him. He is the reason I try so many new things and I am so happy when he enjoys it all. The thing is that I have discovered I am proud of my skills at making things. I am not ashamed of it anymore, I don’t consider it as a second-hand work anymore, because it is not intellectual. Where does this change come from?

I hang out with many green-oriented people in different forums on the Internet. Most of them value self-sustainability – some to an extreme. Most not only cook all their food from scratch, but they grow their food in the backyard. They don’t just knit clothes and blankets for their family, but they die and spun the wool themselves. And I have to tell you, these people are the most spiritual voices I have heard in a long time. Their work is not the fruit of their hands, but of their souls. They are the happiest people I have met, living in the smallest of places, buying only used clothes and living a life of deep involvement and connection with their surroundings and with themselves. I greatly admire these people. I want to be them – and that is the biggest shift of perspective that ever happened in my life.

Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be like all the highly creative, quite mad, enormously maladjusted, misunderstood, neurotic, suicidal, brilliant writers. I wanted to be epileptic like Dostoievski, and bipolar like Virginia Wolf. I thought genius and revelation only come in this shape. I admired and looked for the unhappy. Now I see another way.

Nowadays, I can be happy even on days when I don’t get to write one sentence. Because they are days when I maybe get to work in the yard, and I can accept that as a bliss as well. It can be a deeply meditative act, sometimes even more than, yes, writing.

I even bought myself and apron that I wear with pride. Who am I?

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