Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Weaving the Threads - Part Three

Creating a Space of My Own

Years ago when life was more complicated (i.e. still raising children) Julie Cameron's book, The Artist's Way, showed me how to find a personal space and how to eventually zero in on what I love most - writing and photography. Like everything else in my life, these interests emerged and grew in fits and starts. I'm like many creative women, fascinated by and trying out everything but not focusing on any one thing. I'm sure this is the primary reason why I am now surrounded by clutter and unfinished projects and an endless list of "try that's". But with time, what really spoke to me started to take shape. I started visualizing what I wanted my at home personal space to look like.

Amazingly, I have had an entire space for years that I can call my own. Granted the shared computer is in that room but really, other than that - AN ENTIRE ROOM. Haw many women who do so much with only a corner would LOVE to have this space. But did I immediately make it my own? Well, of course not. Remember fits and starts? It became a dumping zone for possibilities and the detritus of ideas explored and tossed aside turned that room into a sort of ephemeric graveyard. Sometime along the line the vision started shaping up. What did I want in the room?

It turned out to be very simple:

  • my camera

  • my journals and writing materials

  • my books

  • magazines for inspiration

  • sewing machine and all my accumulated tools

  • and, not least of all, my photo archives

The continual vision of my simple, no frills, sewing machine refused to be dismissed. I collect fabric and buttons. Nothing fancy but there is a voice that says "do this". In the evenings I crochet, keeping my hands busy. This craft has found a permanent and meaningful place in my life.

So, now along with thoughts of retirement and the plan to prepare, I find myself focused enough to create my true personal space for - writing, photography, archiving family history, sewing small art pieces, crocheting and most important - a place to store my library of magazines. I may not do the projects within but they are the visual inspiration that keeps me moving in the right direction.


You get to a point in the reflection process where enough thinking has happened. Thinking too long (for me at any rate) becomes daydreaming. Nothing wrong with daydreaming especially at the start of a reflection. But in the past, reflection often turned back to daydreaming and the dream would go nowhere.

I've learned (and am still learning) to push through to the active stage, the doing stage of my daydreaming. My room is finally turning into an actual space. There is much to do but the easy part has turned out to be the tossing of "stuff". So the plan is:

  • Continue tossing

  • Set up workstations

  • Continue to store and organize what remains

  • AND most important - PLAY

Once I start playing, I will know that I have truly made a space of my own.


T*mmy said...

You wrote...
I'm like many creative women, fascinated by and trying out everything but not focusing on any one thing.

This is so me!!

Anonymous said...

I find that I like to plan better than I like to do. And I find that as I get older I'm forgetting to play. Your post is a good reminder to get going and have some creative fun.

trailbee said...

I have done nothing but play for the last 11 years and I'm still not done. The days are too short, the games long and involved and so much fun I don't want to stop. There is no such thing as "stopping and coming in for dinner" because it's so FUN! You are part of my game, my friend. My friend Kathy is also playing, and I'll let you see it by email! Oh, the games we play. The longer you play, the more games there are. Just wait until you retire!!!

Kim said...

Your post is awesome. Letting go of all my plans and replacing them with more play - it's the best feeling of all? ;)

paris parfait said...

Like you, I've finally made space for arts and crafts - including embroidering - that I have neglected for YEARS! It was just a matter of moving things out that I didn't need and replacing them with things that make me happy and fill full of possibility. Lovely post, Annie. Good luck with making your space truly your own! xo

LisaOceandreamer said...

I, too, have a room that is my own but in a small home the residuals of other "things" find their way in there. "Just put it in the studio for now" but doing that about 50 times has made the "for now" a junkyard of things that do not belong. It's a daunting task to make it cohesive, organized and strictly maintained for its purpose. I do a lot of that daydreaming and therefore the "stuff" doesn't move itself. I need to adopt a plan and carry it through, even if it takes awhile. You've really outlined your purpose and your plan to execute it. I believe you will succeed with this and have a place for all that you need to have it work as you desire. I hope to be as methodical in my approach to reaching the same goal.
As an artist my space should reflect only that.
Thank you again for sharing all the threads you are weaving.

LisaOceandreamer said...

I just realized I keep saying the same thing in different comments....without even realizing it. Hmmm

Susie said...

I'm anxious to see your room when you've got it arranged to your satisfaction. I'm working along similar lines with this office redo (which is mainly "my room")

miss*R said...

this reminds me of something I read awhile ago - you can read as many books, alot of literature but until you get your hands into it, you won't learn... I guess this applies to alot of things..
I am lucky to have not one but two rooms that are my own... one is my creative mess, which is just that.. a jumble mess of not finished things.. and the other is my healing room, my sacred space... which i try to tidy and clean once a week - it is the room for my soul so it really does need to be kept tidy.

Peter said...

This is a very rewarding piece to read.

I may not do the projects within but they are the visual inspiration that keeps me moving in the right direction.

That's the most reasonable and inspirational thing I've read about private spaces in a long time.

tongue in cheek said...

Catching up with your post, and feel like I have been by your side the entire way? How can this be. Spiritual blogging?