Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Holding onto the center


I seem to be struggling more and more, lately, with how my time is spent and what is valuable to me. I know I am one of those people who values my time alone. Two years ago we built my studio and it is my favorite place to be. Still, it is also important to be with friends and to contribute to this small community of fabric artists that has developed here. But finding the right balance is challenging. Even people I love wear me out with their talk, talk, talk and demands and contrariness and judgement. Sometimes I just want to stay home. Be alone. This month the balance is off—too many meetings and all that jazz. And I'll bet you have already figured out that when I push myself out there it is usually totally worth the effort. What a contradiction.

Jane Dunnewold was the speaker at Columbia Fiber Arts Guild this morning. A beautiful talk and accompanying photos. She talked to me. And oddly enough, everyone else seemed to think she was talking to them! "Find your center," she said. "Hang onto it."  Listen to yourself. Find your own way. Teach yourself. Do your work. There is joy in making. It was what I needed to hear today. It was really good that I went.

It was 8 years ago today that I wrote my first blog post. I have written more than 1500 posts in those 8 years.  I am still amazed that anyone reads this. Even if no one read it I would write. It has become so important to me. But the fact that you do read and even comment makes it more than just my own feeble thoughts. It makes it a conversation and I am so much richer for that connection. Thank you.

18 comments:

  1. I share this struggle also and have come to accept that for now, it is on-going and a part of the creative process to check to see how I'm handling the flow of things.

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  2. happy blogoversary! and thank you for your wise words always!

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  3. Thank you so much for blogging Terry! Your posts are always interesting and thoughtful - a great combination.

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  4. Reading your posts makes my day better... thank you!
    Hugs from Mary

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  5. I don't know how long ago I started reading your blog, or even how I found you, but it has been several years and I look forward to checking on you every day. Even though I'm not an artist, I am a quilter, and I love and appreciate what you create. But what keeps me coming back every day is your wonderful writing. You share from the heart, honestly, thoughtfully, generously, creatively. Obviously you have many gifts. Thanks for sharing. I am the richer for the connection as well!

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  6. Today is my Blogiversary too -- also eight years! I can't believe we've been doing this for so long, and I'm even more amazed by the conversations and collaborations! Thank you. :-)

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  7. Wow! I felt as if I wrote this post..except I wouldn't have expressed myself as well as you did. Sometimes I feel like I don't want any more friends! I don't ha e enough time to be with the ones I have! And I love, love, love being home and "doing my own thing". My art work is never hard work...it's my relaxation... I may struggle with how to quilt, what fabric, thread, yadA yada, I may use...but where else could we/I have such a great outlet. It's hard to juggle so I best stop wasting time filling up your post & get back to "work"....I have free time after I walk the dog, make hubby breakfast do dishes, make the bed, plan dinner make sure friend w/dementia is OK, the sew..the go to puppy class!

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  8. Your first paragraph describes me perfectly. It's a constant struggle. Thank you for sharing this.

    I'm happy and a little bit jealous that you got to see Jane Dunnewold

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  9. I, too, find writing the blog posts to be an important part of my life. Even if no one reads. (but I am so very happy when I get a comment)

    The posting gets "things" out of my head. I think you and I are alike in that. We rethink stuff and it tires us out. Writing it down sort of clears it out. And we are alike in wanting time alone. But enjoying (mostly) time spent with others. It's a strange way to be, but I am used to it now. Wanting people around and resenting them at the same time.

    G and the dog have gone for a walk and I have an hour of quiet. With no one saying why are you just sitting there???

    I think so many of the women I enjoy reading started blogs at around the same time. And I should write each of them a thank you note--I'll begin with you--Thank You. For being you.

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    1. "wanting people around and resenting them at the same time." Oh how I understand that phrase!!!

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  10. My day is usually askew when I don't check on your blog. Thank you for letting us follow you on your journeys with your art, your family, your likes and dislikes, and most of all just you be you. I have been following your blog for just over seven years now. Sometimes it feels that I am having a cup of coffee with you.

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  11. I have been walking a similar path. I find that I enjoy being alone lately. Too much stress adding people and conversation in the mix. But I do think there has to be a balance. Maybe I am on overload because of all the years of going, doing, more going and doing ;-) Anyway thanks for the post. It was enlightening.

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  12. @ Joanne.. "wanting people around and resenting them at the same time." Oh how I understand that phrase!!! Yet I find if I schedule too long of a period alone I end up off balance as well. Uncomfortable paradox - but there are treasures at both ends of the People-No people continum.

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  13. Like you, I would write my blog even if no-one read it. It's a way of digesting things seen, reflecting on things done. On looking back, there's much that I've completely forgotten already - re-reading old posts is like meeting an old friend ... hmm, maybe that's a warning not to spend *too* much time alone!

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  14. I feel like you just leave me alone in the quiet of my studio.
    Too many people too much stress. Your blog brings me pleasure when I read it. I am only 4 years into art quilting and look to the more experienced like to for guidance.
    Smile this all will pass and life will be smooth again

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  15. Others have said it all far more eloquently than I could, so I'll simply say "thank you". I love to read your blog.

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  16. I always enjoy reading your blog ... although I'm not quite sure how I originally found you.

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