It's not like I don't have plenty of work to do. So why was it that yesterday I gave into the increasingly insistent urges and began a new quilt?
It's Lent. It's still mid-winter, and freezing cold, and monochromatic up here. Those are reasons for craving color, for sure, but there are lots of ways to get more color in your life - like wearing hot pink, which I'm doing today too; yesterday was orange. But no, it's more than that. It occurred to me last night that this is a kind of longing-for-spring quilt: green for leaves, roses and reds for flowers, brown for earth. When I was pulling out the fabrics, all that was subliminal.
I feel better when I have something like this to work on, a little bit at a time. It's amazing to me how much I look forward to it each day. Sewing, or bookbinding, or the actual process of cutting relief blocks or making prints all do this for me, while knitting, on the other hand, tends to be too repetitive for me; I like the planning but not the doing, so much -- but that's just me. Painting can be quite difficult, demanding, and often fraught, like serious writing. Maybe I just like the process of making practical things - real objects - without a client or deadline or the prospect of submission looming in the background. Maybe it's an escape from, or antidote to, other kinds of work which generally involve commitments to others or to something more demanding within myself. Whatever it is, work that involves a lot of "process" seems to be therapeutic, calming, spiritually and emotionally helpful. I realize that I've turned away from this too often in recent years, as a way to rest and recharge.
This has also been the first week of an experiment: I've gone off Facebook for at least the rest of Lent, not so much as "fast" or giving up of something pleasurable -- I wanted to see if I felt more focused without it. After one week, I can say that the answer is definitively yes. I check FB once a day, in the late evening, and don't spend more than five minutes doing a quick look at any messages and notifications. Unless something really needs a response -- a friend's father died a few days ago, for instance, and I didn't see that until today -- I'm trying not to comment or "like" very much at all, and I'm not posting anything but links to new posts here. We'll see how it feels after several weeks, but so far, I don't miss it. I like the way my mind feels without the chattering input, and there are some other aspects of self-perception that are beginning to be more apparent. More on that as I, ahem, piece it together.