Thursday, May 11, 2017


Some of the homework for the Olds master weaving program.  Plus yarn.  Stash to be used up.  Plus bins of warps, wound, ready to be woven.  When I get to them.

Life is full of passages.  Some smooth, some rocky.  But that is just life.

The first time your heart gets broken.  Getting fired.  Having to bury a loved one.  Getting rejected.  

Life is full of them.

As a child I thought as an adult I could do whatever I wanted, that I would never have to do stuff I didn't want to do.  What a surprise!

Because life isn't just one pajama party after another.  There were/are obligations.  Duties.  Stuff that was hard and sometimes even difficult to face.  

But there is also joy.  There is love.  And rainbows.  And silver linings, if we look hard enough.  (Believe me, sometimes you really have to dig to find them, but...)

So while I love to weave, there are things that have to be done.  Stuff I don't much like doing.  Like paying the bills.  Doing the paperwork, like for taxes.  Writing resumes and applications to teach.  Dealing with all the myriad little day to day things that have to be taken care of, like not just ordering more yarn but...paying for it.

For much of my life others have looked at my work and some have told me that what I do isn't 'real'.  As though the time and effort I put into making, selling, teaching is somehow 'fake'.  I have had people tell me to my face; others do it to others behind my back.

As if, because I chose to break out of society's expectations of what constituted a 'real' job my time was not to be respected.  That I could be interrupted at their whim.  That I could drop what I was doing because it wasn't important, anyway.

I try very hard to not take myself seriously.  But I do take my weaving very seriously indeed.  I take my teaching and writing seriously.  And I earn money, real money, and I pay bills with that money.

At this point in my life I could easily 'retire' and laze around all day, every day.  Which seems to be what a certain segment of society thinks I have been doing for the past 40+ years.  But I'm not done yet.  My brother died at the age of 51.  As a result of his death, I was 'saved'.  Since I am still here, there is something more I need to do.  Something more I need to accomplish.  

In the end, I really don't care what other people think of me (too much).  What is important to me is not that I have buckets of money, but that I lived a life that meant something to me.  That I tried (and failed) to be kind and fair - but every time I failed, I tried to do better.  Be better.

So when I was confronted again today with the attitude that my work is a 'sham', I saw red.  I have calmed down now, had a firm chat with someone who needed to understand what was happening and confront the attitude that somehow some jobs are more 'real' than others.  Bottom line?  If you are being paid with 'real' money, you are working a 'real' job.

Speaking of which - I have a warp that needs weaving, homework that needs marking...


Stephanie S said...

Oh my, I can't imagine anyone telling you your work isn't real. You are more real than most people I know. You help so many new weavers, not just by teaching, writing videos but by your example. You put yourself and your work out there. There are a lot of people who don't have the courage to do that. But to say you don't have a "real" job is ignorance mixed with arrogance. You are my role model!

Carol said...

I agree with Stephanie. And go on from there: after 30+ years working in civil service I have determined that most of those I worked with and for in a "real" job were pulling the wool over their own eyes. They turned a dismal rat-race into something they believed to be vitally important and themselves into indispensable rats. There was no "authenticity" (as one of my therapists phrased it) in their lives and the money they received monthly was the only tangible result of their existence. Denigrating someone who makes money by planning, purchasing materials, fabricating product and marketing said product directly to consumers by naming that effort "not real" is projection on their part and an effort to soothe the pain of living an inauthentic life. (Thanks for the soap box. Sometimes I can't help myself.)