By Lisa Huddleston
I want to apologize to those of you who are subscribers. I published a post yesterday before it was ready, and as it turns out, it will never be ready, because I decided to move it to the trash once I realized there was no way to rehash that same old song in a fresh new way. I could delete it on my blog, but I couldn’t retrieve it from your in boxes. Sorry.
However, the hours I spent writing and rewriting and rewriting what Anne Lamott would call “shitty first, second, and third drafts”* were not in vain. This morning I feel refreshed and ready to move on to something new. Well, those hours plus a journey Chuck and I took with our daughter and son-in-law on Saturday afternoon. Both events have conspired to stir my thoughts and pull on the creative fiber in my heart. (Your time spent reading my crap? In vain. Sorry.)
You already know about the writing (still sorry), but I haven’t told you about the trip. It was a studio tour called “Off the Beaten Path” that featured 14 studios and over 30 artists’ works in fiber, glass, clay, wood, metal, and paper. This tour is held every fall on the last full weekend of October, but it was my first time to attend. It was great! I was inspired by the variety of the works and the artists themselves. Even the differences in the physical studios were a delight: from rustic, off-the-grid workshops to functional, garage-styled sheds, each one hummed with creative electricity. And this morning the inspiration lingers.
A few minutes ago I ordered a floor stand for the rigid heddle loom I recently bought–along with a book designed to teach a variety of weaving patterns. I also plan to return to the first studio we visited on Saturday. The proprietor was a woman close to my age who had been a potter but is now leaning into weaving and fiber arts. I loved that she was excited about her work and unafraid to change directions. Her ceramic works were on sale in the middle of the room with her looms surrounding them. Simple and easy transition–moving out the old to make room for the new. She invited me to come to a yarn group that meets there, and I can’t wait to go back.
I’m not saying that I’m going to switch gears completely, but it may be time to change my focus, too. I can envision a studio in my basement with looms surrounding the wood stove we have down there. I can see empty space without all the junk we’ve squirreled away with new dry wall in place and a mural on at least one of those fresh canvasses. It’s already coming to life and I can’t wait to see it develop–Chuck has caught the vision, too, and he can do anything once he puts his mind to it.
Yes, I feel it–that familiar tingle of excitement. Time for a change, again. Less head time and more hand work. Just maybe. I mean, really, what have I got to lose? Just more shitty writing. (So so sorry.)
*“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.”
― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life