I am a maker. I'm a designer. A mother. A cook. A gardener. A knitter. An artist. A photographer. A reader. And this week I've been a pom pom maker. Seriously.
I've had a lot on my plate: I've got one very large project that is delving into new territory (scary for both me and the client), one project with a super-tight deadline and lots of small jobs. In addition, our new cat was sort of sick, my library books were due, my son submitted his first college application and we had multiple events to attend. LOTS going on and feeling a bit over my head.
Somehow around the edges I made time to read Big Magic, Liz Gilbert's latest book about creativity. In anticipation of the book coming in at the library I had been listening to her podcast series Magic Lessons. (I highly recommend both!)
Creativity is more than how I make a living. Creativity is essential to my life. So the stories Liz tells totally resonate. But one story in particular gripped me last week. She tells the tale of a writer who put himself on the line for a large project—a project that ultimately fails leaving him broke, humiliated and minus a couple of friends. For weeks he sat on the sofa unable to do anything. While he was deep in his funk and unable to see his way out, his daughters ask him to make their shabby second hand bike look better. He pulls himself off of the sofa and begins working. He paints the bike red. He silvers the spokes and paints stripes. Then slowly, methodically, he starts to paint stars. Not one or two stars but hundreds of stars. The girls are delighted. The next day a neighbor child asks for stars on her bike. Trusting in the process he does the same. Soon all of the children in the neighborhood are cruising around on starry bikes and the writer realizes that creation is what is important. It doesn't always have to be a grand masterpiece. The simple act of creating SOMETHING is enough to bring him back to a place where he could begin to envision writing again.
With this story fresh in my mind. I prepared to head out for a long day of driving and waiting. (Once a week my son has music lessons an hour from our home. We follow that up with two hours of band practice at a local college.) In weeks past I've dragged along books and files and my iPad in an attempt to catch up on work. This week my brain was full and I needed something else. Even my current knitting project was too complicated. Having just seen a video on pom pom making I rummaged through my closet and stuffed every skein of miscellaneous yarn and a pair of scissors into a bag. Then, with nothing in mind and absolutely no plan I made pom poms for hours. Just wrapping, swapping colors and fibers every now and then, and cutting and tying. I'm now the proud owner of 15 humongous pom poms. Last night while watching TV I strung them together and hung them above my fireplace. I might make more. I might not. I might do something else with them. I might just drop them off at Salvation Army. I don't know. And I don't really care. For now simply making the pom poms is enough.
In the morning I will get back to work. And hopefully in the next week or two I'll have more work to share here on my site. What have you been making? Anything you would like to share?