I wear funny shoes in many colors. This
pretty much sums up my whole life...
pretty much sums up my whole life...
And so yes, I live with a dozen animals in a tiny cottage. And I had assumed we would move well before now allowing us more space inside, a fenced yard for the dogs, a big room to weave and spin in, a big garden space, and so on. But life happens and right now it's happening to us all. For financial reasons I can't move for awhile. And the carpet has just been torn up down here but it's been cleaned well and is being painted a wonderful coffee with cream color. And there are area rugs all around and it's starting to look liveable. And then there's the fact that practically half of my household that was moved into a storage space to give me more room until the supposed move now isn't going to happen and it's all got to come back because keeping it in storage is too expensive long term. And Oh My God, today I realized that this is just perfect! Let me explain.
I have had my dearest friend helping me reorganize my cottage the last few months and he and his helpers really have done wonders, and I love him to pieces for it, but... I was feeling so overwhelmed because of a number of personal reasons, I let him pretty well take over and the outcome was that what he considered unimportant, and "messy" was the disarray of a working artist's life. My looms came down off the living room walls, all of the things that I was used to having around me were gone, packed and put in the storage unit, my fiber, spindles and spinning wheels were put in storage along with a lot of other things to make some very necessary space, but I do not do well with change and all of a sudden it looked like I was living in someone else's house. It looked sparer, for sure, but the things I held dear were gone. At about the same time my mother started taking a serious downward turn after fighting cancer for 4 years, and this week she has decided to stop the meds. The end is near and I am numb. And in November my beloved African Grey Parrot disappeared. I had hand raised him from a tiny baby and had him for 10 1/2 years and the bond between us was profound. I was like a sinking ship, and haven't been able to pull myself out of this deep blue funk for months.
I gained weight, my meds had to be raised because my bi-polar disorder went out of whack again and my clinical depression plummeted. But today... today something changed.
Jeff and I had a long talk today. And we came to the joint realization that the things had to come back and he is going to help me get it as organized as possible. He said he could see that I was suffering from too much loss, and that they had taken too many of my things. They meant well, and I appreciated it, but it was too much. I didn't even understand what was wrong. but other than the obvious losses past and soon to come. there was something more. And all of a sudden I looked at my concrete floors and joy flooded through my system. These floors are not only much healthier for the animals and I. This is an artist's home, and my art was gone. My heart and soul were deflated like balloons gone flat. For me, with my odd string of diagnoses, and being a writer spending most of my time in my head, my art takes me out of my head and into my hands and creates a balance that is very much needed.
And so today I thought what a funny little life I lead and yet how it works just perfectly for me. With my odd conglomeration of things around me, the animals, growing things and books and fiber and spindles and hand carved crochet hooks and all manner of looms, well, they make me feel complete. Jeff was trying to help me have what he considered a neater more balanced life, but no one can decide what we really need, no matter how much they love you and you them.
And so my things are coming home, and it will be crowded and artsy, and I will be filling my walls, once again, with my small and lap looms, skeins of yarn, big bunches of herbs hanging upside down to dry (currently there are several bunches of rosemary hanging on the walls and the aroma is heavenly), and I am cutting roses just as they come into full bloom to dry along with other blossoms for my handmade potpourri. I am puttering in my small garden when I'm outside with the dogs, and I am sniffing the roses and taking in their deep perfume, so heavenly, and then laughing looking down at my Crocs, these funny, odd shoes that not only are the most comfortable thing I've ever worn, after foot surgeries and breaking both feet and reinjuring them more than once, I don't care how they look, I care about having happy feet! I truly believe this is one of the glories of midlife, the acceptance of all of who we are, and living our lives proudly, even if few people understand.
So the losses will come and I can't stop them from coming, but with my fiber and art supplies around me, I will have something to balance the grief, and I seem to need small crowded places to feel cozy. I am going to need to have all the coziness I can muster in the weeks ahead.
So yes, the world works in mysterious ways, and for some of us, "normal" life is peculiar to the world around us, but the best days are the days when we know that "normal" for us is what makes us feel happy, safe, and fulfilled within ourselves.
And so the snoring pug on the arm of my chair, the big black dog on his bed beside me, and the other puglets in their new cushy beds, with sleeping birds all around me, and the knowledge that soon my fingers will be weaving fibers through the warp on my loom fills me with an unexplainable happiness. There is always a balance in life if we are honest, if we don't try to be other than we are, if we wear our funny shoes with pride, and think that the morning glories beginning to sprout might just be one of the most magical things in the world, and we don't mind gallumphing through the world rather chubby, with odd clothes, checking dumpsters for possible pieces of art. and cut and weave wisteria branches while still soft so that they can be a permanent loom for a special weaving after the wood is dry, and writing about all of my dreams and loves, foibles and feebleness alongside the joy that I find every day in some way. Yes, this is just right.
I am waiting, now, like a child at Christmas for my things to return. I want to bury my hands and nose in my fibers, and look forward to dyeing and spinning this summer.
Such a lucky woman am I, with this odd and precious life.
Revel in everything you are, and live your life fully with everything you have in you. Be true to yourself. And wear funny shoes. I highly recommend them!