This week has been busy. I feel like I am always, for some reason, surprised by this. None the less, I have been drowning in some seriously inspirational things, when I have not been toddler chasing, dinner making and apartment reorganizing. (I beat the hell out of my kitchen last night, and came to terms with that giant "green thing" that holds our dishes and cups, which came with our apartment)
I find it much easier for my mind to consider different creative ideas when there is peace and organization in my home. This is a mark of maturity for me, I haven't always been that way. My friend Aiyana, from YAWNI TIGER has been talking about simplifying things in her life, which has really resonated with me. Keep what you need, give what you don't. This is a theme that can be carried into most aspects of life, and I hope to further explore them in those places. Meaningless emotional, physical and spiritual clutter doesn't help anyone.
I have these cotton lounge type pants that have travelled with me so many places, across oceans and continents, heart break and new found love, a pregnancy and plenty of late nights with baby. I don't even know where I got them, or when, I think they were given to me as a hand me down from a friend, which makes them even more special. They are deemed "the card board pants" because they are literally the color of cardboard, have pretty much no shape and are not flattering in any way. I don't really care that they aren't fancy or "pretty", they are soft in a way only beloved, well worn garments can be. I feel like "me" in these pants. They have been slapped against rocks in the wash, and spun in the dryer and hung on a line, crumpled in a suitcase and stretched to the limit the last few days of my pregnancy with Julian. They have just begun to fall apart, but I can not bear to part with them. Thus brings me to my next bit of inspiration.
I am so moved and inspired by the notion of the "mend and make do" movement of WW2. Although the saying was born out of a very dark era in the history of our world, the relevance has not lessened. How lovely is it that something I think is considered an worthy of being called an art form can also serve as something so practical. I am excited to start mending, darning and repairing some of my favorite well worn items, starting with the card board pants.
This elbow repair is so pretty, you would think it was supposed to be this way. This also inspires me to keep knitting and sewing my own clothes, and clothes for the ones I love. So many people ask me what the point of putting so much effort into hand knit garment is, when it could fall apart in a few seasons. Adding and repairing could only exaggerate the beauty and sentimentality of such things. A memory sewn in with a patch, woven in to a hole that was created sledding down a hill or caught on a apple tree branch last fall. Another theme which can lend itself to other places in our lives, mine especially. Changing life seasons can wear holes in the deepest and dearest relationships, taking time to mend the relationships we cherish is something we, or maybe just I, should consider.
I keep hearing about the drought in the mid west this year. I live in the midwest, so you would think such things would genuinely effect my daily life, especially something as drastic as a draught. I have honesty not felt the economic repercussions of this so far, but I am sure the cost of food will go up soon, and only rise on through winter. The cost of conventionally farmed meat products and packaged edibles will probably have the greatest increase in price, considering the crops that are suffering the most are corn and wheat. Economically speaking, our family doesn't have to necessarily fret over the idea of food costs rising, because we can always take from this part of the budget, or that, for something like food. But was interests me is the idea that we should take this into consideration, even if there are more convenient options. Just because we don't HAVE to do something, doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. Our garden is exploding with kale, chard and beans, and I am determined to preserve them, to save the excess for winter, because it is simply a wise thing to do. Sure, I could go to the grocery come January and buy myself some strawberries from Chili, but I just feel like popping the lid on a jar of strawberry basil jam made just for this dreary day would be better. My friend Melissa and I talked about starting up a canning guild. So far we have nothing set in stone, but a few other women have shown interest. My hope is to get enough people (maybe five or six) to chip in for the supplies and possibly a pressure canner, and meet monthly to share abundant garden spoils, recipes and encouragements, while canning some tomato sauce and maybe some of that strawberry basil jam. Yet again, storing up and recording good things when they are in abundance in my life, weather it be affections from my husband and son, or feelings of peace and thankfulness, can help bring the spirits up in times of need and sadness. "Consider the ant, look at it's ways and be wise."
These are the things currently inspiring me, what about you?