Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Stitch in Time

I had a conversation with my boss last week about the type of writing I have been doing for my day job. We both agreed that I am not writing too many hard-hitting journalistic pieces (or any at all). I do tend to enjoy a nice style, arty piece (which admittedly, can be fluffy). 

I got to thinking about my career, and as I looked back over it, I wondered if I had spent all these years not really writing those meaty, soul-wrenching stories that win awards. It seemed to me like I produced a lot of pretty pieces during the day and worked on the gut-wrenching stuff in my spare time (that I don't have much of) and therefore doesn't show up as often. Since I will be turning 30 at the end of the year, I really want to start digging in when it comes to good writing, both at home and at work. 

The truth is, sometimes pretty things can bring about some of my best writing. These objects allow me to talk about the deeper issues at hand in a way that is more comfortable to me. Case in point: the new shoes above from Charlotte Olympia. The Shear Delight collection made me think of my previous job, where sewing and stitching were a part of my daily life. 

I love the metaphor of using stitching to talk about time. We often refer to time as a fabric, and our mere moments are but stitches, piercing the overall form. Sometimes I think in my 30 years I haven't pieced things together the way I should have. It's tough to remember that there is really no "should," no pattern. It's hard to keep in mind that we are all just ateliers, making something one of a kind with our bare hands. We have a sketch of an idea, but fabric can pull and tear; alterations might need to be made. There are some days I wish I could just cut out of the whole continuum, and stretch the fabric over to begin anew. But that's the difference between life and fabric. 

Maybe the best course of action is to keep in mind the moments we wish we could replicate again and again, the perfect touches, the shiniest details, or maybe it's to vow to move forward, and finish what has been started. It is my hope and my prayer that I am able to finish despite snags and imperfections. It is my goal to keep working until the shapes I have sketched out become vaguely realized. And even though I might make some miscalculations, it is important to summon the strength to measure twice before making another cut. I worry so heavily sometimes about making that final cut that I forget beauty can be present in the process, and even the mistakes. 

Here's hoping that whatever you are creating right now, is starting to come together, flaws and all. 

1 comment:

  1. I have thought about the same thing with my art, but came to the conclusion that "pretty and fluff" make me happy. I have enough grit and angst in my real life, I need the "pretty and fluff" just to keep me afloat.

    I love that old movie "Sullivan's Travels" with Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake. He's a film director who is being forced to make comedies by the studio when he really wants to make socially relevant dramas. He and Veronica Lake travel undercover across a depression era countryside. After surviving their journey, McCrea realizes the best social contribution, was to make people laugh with his movies, when they are down and out and faced with hardships.

    And the great thing about being an artist or a writer, is that we can continue to work on our craft until we are really old. Unlike and athlete who has a finite amount of time with their career.