Sunday, April 17, 2011

Memory Lane

My presentation for the Quebec association is essentially the story of my life as a weaver.  In some ways that is an easy assignment - in some ways it's difficult.  How much of myself do I share and how much is too much information?

Well, if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you'll know that generally I subscribe to the 'it's never too much information' theory of sharing.  :}

One of the things I wanted to do was give my introduction to weaving some context and I remembered that  my mother had given me a rattle that my father had carved from a single block of wood when I was born. 

It isn't polished - the ball isn't completely round, the wood shows the strokes of his pen knife - but it was made with love and that makes it extra special to me, even though I have no memories of it.  I'd been told he had made it but until she gave it to me a few years ago it lived in the realm of family myth for me.

This journey down memory lane has been somewhat difficult, emotionally.  My father died the same month I started my formal weaving class.  He would never have understood my decision to give up an extremely well paying job in order to do something as flakey as weaving for a living while he was alive.  Once he died I felt him nearby as I spent hours in the weaving studio, hours beyond scheduled class time, knowing that if I were going to become proficient I had to study every aspect of weaving and invest my 10,000 hours of purposeful study to master the skills involved. 

It has also been difficult to remember that time because he died from multiple myloma - yes, cancer.  But I am already older now than he was when he died at age 56 nearly 57 - about the same age I was when my coronary artery disease was discovered and dealt with.

As I look back at my life and wonder how I ever thought I could earn an income, even actually earn our living (for 9 years), I am amazed at my temerity.  I'm still not sure how someone who craves security as much as I do could ever have thought she could survive in a vocation with so little.  On the other hand, without some form of creativity in my life on a daily basis, I think I would have been a very unhappy person.

Do I consider myself a success?  That depends on what scale of success you use.  Financially, not so much.  In every other way that counts?  Yes.  I have succeeded in living my life, my way.  Money is just a means to an end.  So long as I have a roof over my head, food on the table and fibre to create textiles, I am content.

Currently reading Gale Force by Rachel Caine


Claudia Rizzi said...

"Amem" to that, sister. By the way, what was your job before weaving?

Laura said...

I was working at a custom drapery shop, selling custom made draperies. And making - at the time - an extremely good salary - especially for a woman. :)

Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said...

I hear you!
I gave up a very well paid career in IT that was eating me alive to live more creatively (I had specific plans, but won't bore you with the details).
After a few years, I realized that I had to balance some work with steady income with my creative dream that is only building revenue. But still, I have my dream that I continue to pursue while luckily finding a flexible job that feeds my creative side as well.
Finances can be a juggle but I know I would have burned out totally if I hadn't have listened to the part of me that needed to live a creative life.
Good for you!

Peg said...

I, too, gave up a full-time, well-paid job with all kinds of security and great bennies for a part-time paid job and my own business. I'm much poorer, and wouldn't change my decision for anything.

I LOVE the rattle!

Laura said...

I've had that "examination of your life" moment this weekend. While I am 57, working for someone else has become increasingly difficult. I'm in the process of purging excess stuff - getting down to the important things - my bed (!), my loom, my wheel, my ponies and my dogs.

I'm working on a plan to become more independent - you have been and are an inspiration!

Rhonda from Baddeck said...

Hurray for getting started on the treatment phase so quickly. Our thoughts will be with you Wednesday (and Thursday?), hoping you don't feel too crummy afterwards.

I have a friend who felt she had 'lost herself' during her cancer treatment. But as she started to recover, she felt that everyone who had prayed or thought about her had been keeping a small part of her safe, ready and waiting for her to reclaim when she was ready.

I thought that was a beautiful way to express it. If you find yourself feeling "not all there," remember that there are many of us out here in blogland praying and thinking of you, keeping a small part of you safe and cherished until you're feeling better again. Good luck!

Laura said...

Thanks - I know that I am in very good hands - in every way.