Monday, January 26, 2009

What I felt

I'm falling behind with my writing resolution as I thought I might, but here I am, only a day or so late.

I went to a felting workshop on Saturday and made a bag. Admittedly it is rather too big and without handles it looks more like a tea cosy, but I'm pleased with the colours - reds and browns. I shall put a wooden handle on it later and it probably needs more hand rubbing with water and soap.

I was very happy with the day. I learned several different techniques and spent time totally absorbed in looking at examples, choosing colours and then rubbing away at wet wool with soapy hands through a bit of net curtain until it turned into felt! I loved the metamorphosis and will have another go at the process, although next time I'll be working on much smaller pieces with jewellery in mind. It was good too to see the very varied pieces that the other participants produced.

The workshop reminded me how much I need to allow myself time to use the part of my brain which is not about words and to use my hands in other ways than bashing away at a computer keyboard. I am no artist but I love the process of trying to make things and of imagining what I might make.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Year thoughts

It has taken me a while to start writing this year but I have been doing a lot of reading including blogs and that has got me thinking about resolutions and new directions.

I have made a few new year's resolutions including several old favourites like 'take more exercise'. One new one is not to switch on the computer as soon as I come upstairs to my study in the morning but to give myself about an hour of quiet, reading, writing my diary and thinking, before getting into the bustle of the online world. Another resolution which is part of this is to try to read something every day, to sit and read a book I mean. This year for the first time in ages I had space to do this over Christmas and it really enriched my life.

As well as reading I want to write more this year. I intend to make a start on writing my family history, starting with my late parents and working backwards. My intention is to sit down and write, not just to continue the endless seduction of research, although there will be more of that too and not all of it online. I also want to write more on Quaker history, of which more later.

I think that diary writing will help me as it always has but I also want to write this blog more regularly. Sarah has resolved to write every day and Heather to write every week on a Monday. I incline more towards a weekly resolution but I don't want to tie myself to a day, so I think I will say that if I have not written anything in a week from Monday to Saturday I will write, however briefly, on Sunday.

As well as definite resolutions I think that this year may be the beginning of a change in direction that I cannot yet see clearly. In her blog Robin talks about a search for balance in her life. That reminded me of two small angel cards, offered by a friend and chosen from a pack unseen, which I keep displayed on my desk, each showing one word and a coloured drawing. Several years ago I chose Balance and have been working on developing this quality since then, with varied success. Just before Christmas I had the opportunity to pick again and this time chose Surrender, a figure in red holding a white flag, standing on a green hill.

I'm still not sure what to make of this but feel that I can't just dismiss it. At the gathering where we picked our cards several people put back words they didn't like and tried to pick something more comfortable but I didn't feel I could do that. Instead I have been wondering what to make of the idea of surrender in my own life. I am familiar with surrendering to the promptings of my Inward Teacher but perhaps I have not been listening to those promptings carefully enough. Perhaps too I need to surrender my tendency to take responsibility for the problems of others, especially my own family. There's obviously something there to work on and Balance hasn't gone away either!

Anyway, I do not make resolutions in order to succeed or to fail, just as a way of taking stock and moving on.