Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Nothing Time.

A few days ago, a friend complimented me (okay, on Facebook) for being inspiring, curious, and creative. I pridefully gloated for a few minutes, and soon after shuffled up to bed, because I love to experience flow by guaranteed Nothing Time.  Nothing Time as in, slowly transitioning from activity to activity, waking up slowly to experience daybreak and dreamtime, gazing outdoors or walking the neighborhood, catching myself with time that is not accounted for: unplanned time.

Not Nothing Time: checking email or smartphone, cleaning, doing laundry, reviewing and creating a calendar, sitting in traffic,  etc….Want more Nothing Time? Snatch it when it appears.  Nothing Time is the sort of time that we absolutely need to have if we want to foster our own creative impulse.  Without a moment of wondering…hmmm….now what? It all becomes the stuff of obligation.  Living an artful life is a balancing act in itself.

Granola, Country style jumbo batch.

Recently, my inspiration comes from a lot of good old fashioned Home Economy.  I'm delighted to throw myself out there as a beacon for friends who want to slow down and learn how to knit, make granola, bake a pie, or walk the neighborhood while chatting with a friend.  I love to encourage others to make/build/do.  I know that when I see someone else creating something I'm inspired and heartened. As I've indicated many times, the Unencumbered Woman is a mind-set, not an end product.  I'm fortunate in my life right now to have carved out ample Nothing Time.  Hardly true for many, and not always true for me, but when it's there….snatch it!

Madelinetosh Sock yarn daffodil toe-up socks.  Fresh off the needles and ready to wear.

Pumpkin pie…must be Autumn.
And then there is mealtime.  The benefit of a family meal has been well documented, and it's quite evident that sharing meals with friends and extended family is one of life's great pleasures.  That said, I hope that in your pursuit of nothing-ness you take the time to eat a beautiful meal solo whenever you are able.  I've got a stack of books for reading during mealtime, and it's always a pleasure to make a gorgeous plate and look out the window while eating a complete meal.
I can brag about my Nothing Time, but I must confess to being an insomniac-type person. At best, my late night sleep is inconsistent.  It's in the late dark hours that my mind races recklessly.  I have many methods of dealing with sleeplessness, and this week I was lucky to be so consumed with a book that I replaced the batteries in my little night reader as a counter to wakefulness. I savored some chapters in Joyce Carol Oates' newest book, The Lost Landscape.  I try to not miss anything Joyce Carol Oates publishes (not easy), but I do my best to follow my favorite author.   Rarely does Joyce Carol Oates share her personal stories, which makes this compilation of memories all the more precious.  In her tales of growing up in rural upstate New York, Joyce Carol Oates conjured up images that stir my own passion for practicing old crafts and home skills. In the spirit of Home Economics, rest, creativity and endeavor, I note a few takeaways from my reading: 
On insomnia: "by day the obsessions of the insomniac fade like screen images when the lights come on."

On housekeeping: "For what is housekeeping but small simple finite tasks executed with attention, care, love."

On needle arts (to Mother): "You tried to teach me to knit, and to sew, without great success…you had more luck teaching me to cook, or at any rate to prepare meals." 

And so I travel a week full circle, trying to curate an artistic life while remaining engaged with my community, fostering health and stability in my home, and nurturing my own talents and passions.  Each piece contributes to heart and head that are well enough to reach out to others and try to make something work.  Each piece contributes to another day of calm in our own home.  Each piece is a bit of battling against a tremendously disturbing and chaotic world.  Each day, I try to forge forward so that my own soul stay afloat and I may share with others. 

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