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Friday, August 13, 2010
A Year by the Sea and Other Musings
I recently checked out a book at the local library. A Year by the Sea, by Joan Anderson. Quoting the inside cover, "An entrancing story of how one woman emerged from a stagnant period, finding the energy to renew her marriage and the courage to persevere in the living of an unfettered life." The post title of the book is, Thoughts of anUnfinished Woman. There are many pearls of wisdon and insights that hit home.
When I came home with my stash of new reading material I decided I would do nothing that evening but stretch out and read. I had nothing that had to be done; nothing urgent tugging at me to be fixed, cleaned, or managed. As I relaxed on the sofa with A Year bythe Sea I began to feel very uneasy, feeling guilty for taking time for myself. After reading one page I went upstairs, cleaned up my closet then scrubbed and cleaned the bathroom. Now, that didn't have to be done but I felt I had to "earn" the right to indulge myself. Suddenly the anxiety was gone as I had "paid" for my priviledge.
Where does that "stinking thinking" come from? Chances are from many years of putting everything and everyone elses needs and wishes before our own. I dare say Im not alone in this situation, but, I had thought I had out grown it. I had to laugh at myself.
Joan Anderson touches on these feelings in "A Year by the Sea". In describing her feelings of guilt for leaving her old life for a year on Cape Cod she says, "There's a price to pay for such self-indulgence. I stand here holding freedom in one hand and guilt in the other---." She talks a lot about taking risks and making changes in our lives stating, "Doesn't change occur only when we stop living the expected life?"
I doubt that I will ever totally eliminate those feelings of guilt or not being worthy enough when I indulge myself, whether it be time for myself or buying something unnecessary and outrageous. But, being aware of this behavior is a step in the right direction. I can say now, when I catch myself feeling those pangs of guilt I stop and think how inappropriate they are and laugh a little.
A few years ago I tore a page from a magazine and still have it tacked up by my computer. It is an anonymous quote. "When you die God and the angels will hold you accountable for all the pleasures you were allowed in life that you denied yourself." I read it daily.
I am a Texas native who grew up watching my grandmother crochet, knit and tat. She would save string from the tops of feed and flour sacks and make beautiful bedspreads and tablecloths from it. I find inspiration is the least expected places. Sometime in the textile itself, it's texture or color. A poignant saying, a found object or story can spark my imagination and creativity. I attempt to express a particular feeling or message in my fiber art, blending, coaxing and manipulating the fiber, yarns and threads into something that is unique for me. I use new surface design techniques with traditional methods working with commercial fabrics as well as my own hand dyed and hand painted fabrics. My art has been shown at Fiber Artspace at Blue Star Art Complex,San Antonio,TX, also at Fiber Arts Fiesta, Albuquerque, NM, at Fiber Artists of San Antonio annual show Nord Gallery, San Antonio,TX, and 1550 Gallery, Kerrville, TX., Kerr Arts and Cultural Center membership show, Kerrville, TX, and KACC invitational fiber arts show, The Softer Side of Art.