Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Being vulnerable

Boy, being vulnerable is really hard.  Have you tried it lately?  Because I haven't.  I've been going through so much grief and sadness, loss and change, stress and fear that I've avoided allowing my defenses to be down and be vulnerable.

But you know what?  I was vulnerable anyway.  And in trying to protect myself from being hurt I ended up getting hurt worse than I thought I ever could.  Man, it's a crazy world out there.

I've been reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown.  In it, she talks about how important, in fact necessary, it is to be vulnerable.  To let ourselves be exposed because it's only by exposing ourselves that we can make connections to others.

David always talked about the fact that I had this blog and shared personal stories here, not just my creating.  I remember telling him, personal is part of the creating for me.  I create because of and in response to the things that are going on in my life.  The connections are too deep for me to ignore them or to pretend they aren't significant.  If you were to buy anything from me, you would be buying that tiny little piece of my soul that was present when I was making it.  For me, to be open is to create...

...and that should have been clue number 1 that I was closing myself up recently...for probably over a year in fact.  My creative urges had just about dried up.  I was too tired, too stressed, too whatever to get in the studio and make something.  I'd sit on the couch and knit or crochet or look through books, but I wasn't being creative.

And I was hugely productive, don't get me wrong...but Leslie on a good day?  I could blow all that out of the water and make so much more.

Last week I couldn't create.  I was so stunned and shocked and scared and all the other bad emotions that creating wasn't going to happen.  I was also shaking.  Physically shaking.  And if you're a knitter or crocheter you know that you can't have shaky hands and get much done.

The shaking has diminished as part of my all-the-time feeling, but it comes in waves.  In fact, yesteday when I made myself sit down and start to crochet, I shook all over.  My hands were shaking so badly I could barely see the yarn I was working with.  I thought "this can't do...I'm never going to be able to make things again and I can't not make things.  I can't not create.  I MUST make this next stitch and the next one and the next one" and before long, my fingers were in control, and my shaking subsided and then...by the end of the day I had these:

Aren't they pretty?  They are the sum total of my creative energies yesterday but look at that...3 squares.

Just to let you dear readers know, I am practicing vulnerability.  I will express my feelings and share my journey as I find a pathway to forgiveness, creativity and my Self (whatever that may be).  Creating is personal.  Art comes from the soul.  It speaks from the artists and reaches out to others in a language that doesn't share words but somehow communicates.

And in being vulnerable I will somehow magically open myself up to possibilities and thoughts and ideas and people that I never knew were available to me.  It will be transformative and wonderful and I invite you along on my journey because I think it's going to be exciting once all this icky stuff is out of the way.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Just say it

So...here it goes...

My husband came home on Monday last week and told me he wanted to get a divorce.

There, see...it's as bad as that.  I'm trying to figure out how to accept this and move on, but there's a lot of things to uncover, both about what went wrong in our relationship, how I was so completely blind to it, and how I can figure out how to support myself in the midst of just quitting my job.

One of the things I'd learned in my 2 weeks of self-exploration after we'd separated in London and then I was home by myself was that my journey involves finding beauty in the world.  Art for me is about finding and amplifying that beauty and making our lives around us places that we like because they appeal to some sense of what is beautiful to us.

So, what looks like a giant pile of shit right now has something beautiful in it and I'm going to have to dig in and figure out what that is.

The gritty details if you're interested:

  • he moved out of the house this weekend and I went to see our daughters while he did so
  • I will be staying in the house for the time being...until I figure out what I'm going to do, where I'm going to work, and how I'm going to pay for everything.
  • we are talking--it's weird but we are talking and I think positively
  • when you get to the bottom of it there aren't a lot of assets to divide up so this shouldn't get messy
I am determined not to let negativity poison my journey that I started, so I'm refusing to succumb to the anger and fear.  I'm angry, don't get me wrong, and I'm hurt, don't get me wrong, and I'm just about as scared as I've ever been in my life, don't get me wrong...but I will not let it control my decisions or how quickly and the manner in which I process all of this and move forward.


Ironically, I finished this blanket for the "new me" the weekend before the bomb dropped.  The pattern is Groovyghan and the yarn I used is Noro Silk Garden Sock.  I'm actually crocheting up another blanket from the leftovers of this project...I am on my way to work on it as soon as I post this.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Y'all...i just experienced another major life altering event.  I'm out of commission for a week or so until I get everything straight.  Please don't run away on me...and keep me in your thoughts.  I kind of need them right now.

Friday, July 11, 2014

I'm back!

Well...I've been back for several days, but you wouldn't believe what happened...when I got home all exhausted and tired and so jet lagged I couldn't sleep, I decided to get on line and e-mail David and maybe play a game of bingo or two...only to discover that the internet was down.

It was July 3rd.

They couldn't come out to fix it until yesterday.

That means that for one entire week I didn't have WiFi, Internet, or anything.  I could check my e-mail on my phone, but how I hate communicating on that tiny little thing.  I need buttons to push, a screen to enlarge, text big enough to see.

In the meantime I've been crocheting an afghan for the new me, coloring some pretty awesome sheets from the My Secret Garden coloring book I picked up, shopping, and CLEANING HOUSE.  I've gone through closets, thrown away clothes, and done some serious deep cleaning.  I'm surprised at how little dust there was and how much cat hair was all over the house.

David comes home on Monday.  I'm looking forward to that.

Until Monday, though, I'm going to leave you with this adorable picture of my lap mate:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fashion, high rise, and quiet

Well..today I think I met my noise limit.  I went to the Fashion and Textile Museum and saw some gorgeous rebozos (and fun pix of Frida Khalo) and then, because it was right next door, I rode the  elevator to the top of The Shard for a wonderful view and fun.  I saw a couple get engaged...the girl was crying...it was sweet.  

Then after it was all over I realized I didn't want to bump into one more person or hear one more car or feel one more train, so I came back to my room where I've been totally low key all afternoon, and. Ow evening.  

Tomorrow is a second visit to Kew Garden...and then this lovely vacation will be in the history books, and I get to start living my dream of being a textile artist!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Riots of color

I went to Hampton Court Palace today. The gardens were gorgeous and a riot of color. And smell.  And back in the day, the king had a padded "stool"...I got some knitting done on the train out there.

I'm very excited because I got to talk with an instructor at the Royal School of Needlework.  I think I'm going to apply for their certificate program.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Special exhibits

One of the best things about London is that many of the museums are free.  They'll have a few paid-for special exhibits but the rest is for you to wander around I for as long as you like.  I like this because, honestly, museums are exhausting.  That slow walk through crowds, peering, preening, and reading.    So, if you want to go see one specific thing, you can just walk into any museum, go to that thing, and leave. One hour and nothing wasted.

Unfortunately, those special exhibits never (as in ever) allow you to take photos...so, unfortunately all the wonderful wedding dresses and haute Italian couture I saw today will live forever in my brain but not my camera.

I walked back to my hotel from the Victoria & Albert...probably 2 miles.  Through some beautiful neighborhoods.  Those are the pics I'm sharing today.