Wednesday, May 1, 2024



The other day I saw a post by an author (whom I follow because I enjoy their writing) saying that a clerk at a shop had asked them what they did and they responded that they were an author.  "Do I know you?" the clerk asked.  Which took the author aback, because how would they know what the clerk read?

I had a similar interaction with a clerk in a shop although it was phrased differently - and since I was feeling a bit cheeky that day, my response caught the clerk off guard.

When he slide the credit card slip over to me to sign (what can I say,  it was in the 90s) he asked me to sign it 'in case you get famous some day'.

As I signed it, I responded "I already am", and smiled as I shoved the signed slip back across the counter.

The expressions (for there were several) that rolled across his face were amusing.

I said thank you and exited the store with him still standing there, looking perplexed.

But here's the thing.  There is 'famous' and then there is small pond 'famous'.  And while I am perfectly aware that the people in my town really don't know me or anything about me (apart from a very few), my 'fame' is not in this town, but in the weaving community.

Did I do what I have done in order to be 'famous'?  No.  All I ever wanted to do was help others enjoy a craft that has brought me so much pleasure (and aggravation), so much joy (and exasperation), and even a certain level of respect (amongst some of the community, at any rate).

One of the things that came home to me as I sorted and listed Allison's books, is that most of them were published in the 70s and 80s (or before).  Many of the authors are no longer with us, and are largely unknown to newer weavers in the community.

As I have written and self-published my books, I know full well that in 20 years they may be just as obscure as some of Allison's have become.  

But again - I didn't write the books for 'fame'.  I wrote them to help people, as best I can.  Will they continue to be of help once I'm gone?  Dunno.  Doesn't matter.

Because I have never done anything I've done, not write, not teach, not post to this blog, for the 'fame'.

And I think that is where a lot of people go astray.  They want the 'fame'.  They want the clicks and likes.  But character is not built on clicks and likes.  Character is something else entirely.  

Now my 'character' of late is 'grumpy old lady shaking fist at the clouds'.  But I'm now old enough I don't much care what other people think of me.  Wayne Dyer used to say that someone else's opinion is none of your business.  Over the years, that message has been conveyed in other ways.  For example, never read the student 'reviews' of your teaching.  As a new teacher, I read them, and tried to adjust my presentations, but most of my changes came of actual interactions with students where I could see that my explanations were - or were not - making sense.  And if not, changing my approach until the student seemed satisfied.  Another is that, if you are an author, don't read the reviews on Goodreads.  (I made the mistake of doing just that a couple of weeks ago and...welp, I won't be doing that again!)

Not all students/readers were satisfied.  Of course not.  Not every teacher is suitable for every student.  But even when I disagreed with someone, or contradicted them, or expanded on the topic beyond the superfluous, I always tried to do it in a way that was respectful.

As I have been struggling with a body intent on breaking down, it is becoming ever more important that I keep sharing what I know.  I may not be able to do what I used to be able to do, physically, but so far?  Mentally I seem to be managing.  

And so I have agreed to write some essays for School of Sweet Georgia.  And I'm still accepting bookings for Zoom presentations.  

For so long as I can keep helping people gain understanding of the craft, I will continue.

The life so short, the craft so long to learn.

No comments: