It does not seem like taking some time off should be difficult. Humans need rest.
But I do find it difficult to absent myself completely from my business. It turns out in two weeks there were no monumental tapestry emergencies, my website went back up, and I enjoyed watching my brain relax its anxious grip on whatever it perceives as reality in that moment.
I picked up Krista Suh's book, DIY Rules for a WTF World in a yarn shop recently and it seemed like great deck reading. Right at the beginning of the book she talks about how everything changes. I think most of us know this is true, but we're pretty sure we don't want it to be true. We want to work toward some beautiful static state that we can maintain for the rest of our lives. Perhaps the day we find happiness is the day we realize such a place doesn't exist!
Krista, whose name may sound familiar as she is the creator of The Pussyhat Project, talks about inhaling and exhaling stages of life. When we're inhaling, we're expanding, soaking things in, exploring what is out there. When we're exhaling we're focused on action.
This concept perfectly explains my two weeks away from work. I am inhaling. Allowing myself to sit still, to look around, to play with materials and ideas with no expectations. I can ride my bike to the coffee shop and sit there and sip a chai tea latte and think about that GF BLT for awhile. Maybe I'll read the latest Spin Off or that new Buddhist book. Or maybe I'll just sit and watch the goldfinches at my feeder.
Don't we all need this from time to time?
While I was away I spent some time in the mountains by myself. A little backpacking and a little car camping produced some new tapestry diary pieces and a lot of joy centered in feeling the wool slip in and out of the weft of my little four selvedge loom. I did watch the clouds and the stars and I read a couple books entirely for fun.
I came home and spent some time on the deck doing more of the same. I've worked on emptying some spinning wheel bobbins (Spinzilla is coming!) and filling some spindles. And then after about a week and a half, I touched right into the fear about weaving tapestry. My plan for Week #2 was to start a new large tapestry. But the fear around that just errupted all over the place. I was shocked by how much I did not want to take any more risks with large work after the collapse of the commission. And then I realized that that was an edge and that I love weaving large pieces and that right now I was still inhaling.
I haven't started that new large-format piece yet, but I did plan, dye yarn for, and warp the loom for a small format piece. If it ends up in Small Tapestry International 6, you'll know I finished it. If it doesn't, you'll know I finished it and didn't get in. Because let's just assume I finish it, right?
I also dyed some fleece, washed piles more of it, and generally messed around with all things yarn-related. A friend from my most recent tapestry retreat sent me a wonderful box of bits of washed fleece and roving and that was a great inspiration.
I am back to work as of yesterday. It took the entire day yesterday to catch up on online course questions. But I enjoyed seeing what everyone had made while I was away. The creativity of weavers is so much fun to watch. And as usual, my main message is, keep weaving! Practice practice practice.
There were some bumpy business moments during my two weeks off. I tried hard to stay off email. I don't recommend trying to fix a website problem with your URL when you're on vacation. Three days of angst resulted when my main URL went down (my apologies to those of you who got a flood of 404 errors when trying to access anything linked to my website). Nothing strikes terror in the heart of a business owner faster than a website that isn't working. But of course, it was fixed in about 48 hours with some persistence and a few helpful tech people. The world didn’t end.
Then there was the book. That happened too. More about that in a couple days.
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