Saturday, September 19, 2015


Every once in awhile I worry myself. You see, in the last couple of weeks, the most creative thing I've done is repair a hole in a pair of leggings. My current "craftlessness" has actually been growing over the past few weeks or months.  In the last 6-10 weeks I went through a brief spate of friendship bracelet macrame (for instance, this pattern) and an even briefer spate of kumihimo braiding, neither of which I expected to stick around for long, but since Labor Day I haven't even picked up the braiding disk.

(I guess I did tangle a bunch of rocks right after Family Camp!)

I am, admittedly, a serial crafter. I flit from project to project and from medium to medium with all the commitment of a middle schooler's crush. (OK, maybe not that bad, but what a great word picture!) But the constant is that there's always Something I'm working on. The problem is Zentangle edged out electronic scrapbooking about 18 months ago now, only to fizzle itself perhaps a year later. A lot of random projects have filled things in in the meantime, but for now I'm not feeling the pull of my crochet hook, Frankly, I'm not feeling the pull of Anything expect maybe my fantasy novel and my bed. (And Angry Birds. Yeah. I actually uninstalled it last Thursday. I was on level 183. This is not necessarily something to be proud of!)
It makes me worry that perhaps I am falling into something not far removed from depression - or at least that I am in danger of it.

On the other hand, there are three children 6 and under to care for - and more than that, to *raise.* My craft time has always, since the youngest was born, been after their bedtime. And that bedtime has been a challenge of late. So has exercise. I'm only slowly crawling back on the wagon after 3 or 4 weeks of quite limited activity, and guess what? Exercise time is also after kid bedtime! Add to this the official start of our new homeschooling year, with all the mental and emotional effort that requires - and in fact, while this isn't the first time we've done daily school time, now that James is technically of age for first grade, it is the first time that I am utterly committed to making it *stick* for more than a month. Oh, and that post-8-pm hour is also pretty much my only opportunity for connecting with my husband without an audience, just by the by.
So it's not that I am without excuse. There are a lot of draws on my physical, mental, and emotional energy right now. It is more than understandable that I would be without much drive for a craft project.

It's also, perhaps, understandable that I might be in danger of depression.
My spiritual discipline isn't what it could be any more than my physical. Add this all up and I might be headed for a cliff.

The question is - and I ask this quite genuinely - is my current craftlessness symptom or cause? OK, I'm willing to go out on a limb and say it's not a major cause. But I feel the lack, if only because it is so very much a habitual part of my life. So will continuing to leave it out help, harm, or be entirely neutral? Were I to push myself to pick something up, be it as mindless as kumihimo or as complicated as a large scale crochet project, would that hasten to burnout, or provide a needed safety valve?

I need to gain a better understanding of my reasons for crafting - which may not be entirely constant, let alone pure. Certainly there is an inherent and often enduring joy in producing something useful and/or beautiful. From where I stand typing I can see a framed photograph of mine and a couple of ZIA pieces that bring me genuine pleasure to view. Crafting is also a part of how I express my joy of big-C creation and more importantly, the big-C Creator. (That would be God, if you need that spelled out a little more clearly!) And I do believe that in some, if not all, circumstances the act of crafting / creating is mentally/emotionally/spiritually therapeutic in a way that merely reading a novel (let alone watching TV or playing a video game) is not. But sometimes I craft for human acclaim. Or just to feel as if I'm Doing Something Useful. Even out of a vague sense of guilt that I've bought all these supplies, I ought to be using them, dangit! In these cases my time might better be used for, I don't know, study and meditation?

Honestly, at this very moment I need to be exercising instead of typing. I'm not going to come up with an answer I can trust tonight. But I am going to be mulling it over here. I'll let you know if I figure it out.

Roughly 2 weeks later, I'm on a roll again, primarily with Zentangle / ZIA. James has been doing some of it with me. Has my overall attitude and frame of mind been better too? I think so. Sadly, the difficulty with experimenting on a set of one is the basic impossibility of distinguishing cause from effect. :) Anyway, not sweating it. Seasons change, crafts change, Life changes... one has to somehow roll with the punches without freaking out. Usually I can. Sometimes not so much. :}

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