V ä v a! V e v e! weaving cloth one thread at a time

Saturday, October 23, 2010

SLOW Magazine

Something wonderful has just happened in my life and I am going to share it with you!  I have been PUBLISHED in a magazine!!  I kind of backed into an opportunity to write an article for a magazine in Australia called, "SLOW Magazine" (www.slowmagazine.com.au).  Almost a year ago the editor of the magazine had gone onto a Green forum on the Internet with a request for thoughts and ideas for articles that would be of interest to feature in their magazine.  I just recently ran across this request and responded, not really thinking anything would come of my ideas not only because of the late date, but also because the Internet is such a gigantic arena, and one's voice is, more often than not, lost in it's labyrinth.  To my surprise and amazement, the editor, Jacqui Mott, wrote back suggesting that I send in a submission, and they would see where things went.  She had read my blog entries and thought that their topics and quality would be perfect for their magazine!  WOW!  I was floored! . . and excited!!  Almost immediately I sat down and wrote my first submission.  Now mind you, I have never submitted any of my writings to anyone!  well, okay . . . there is this blog.  But hardly anyone reads this do they?  The only person to have read anything that I have written was my mother when I was writing weekly 3-page thesis papers for my 11th grade English teacher, Mr. Mraz.  So, with no ego involved, I thought I would submit my article, the staff at Slow magazine would shred it and I wouldn't hear anything more.  Just yesterday, Jacqui sent me an email saying they were going to use my article in their next issue of SLOW magazine!!  WOW again!  My mother, bless her librarian heart, would be so proud!!

I take much delight in writing about what I am thinking.  It has been something that I have enjoyed doing since elementary school.  I have always liked being able to craft my words, with thoughtfulness, before revealing them to someone.  Speaking the words does not allow me to do that, and words tend to tumble out of my mouth, with me often wishing I could scramble after them, clutching them back into obscurity.  But the written word has clarity and it's own space, making it take on a depth that the spoken word does not have.  Both can be interpreted in any fashion, but only the written word can be truly studied, to reveal it's depth and intent.  Crafting with words is a challenging process, trying to tease an idea out of many, and bring definition to it, so that one's original thought is there in clear, abundant, literal, black and white!  All too often, a thought is just too wispy and ethereal to capture in text, but therein lies the challenge that all writers face.  And as of yesterday, I can count myself as one of the members in the league of writers!

I will update you when the issue is circulated!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

But can forgiving and accepting imperfection be good??

We are in a world of Getting Things Done!  We are required to be Productive at work.  So we push ourselves to accomplish more in less time for our paycheck.  At home we feel the pull of Productivity in having to get things done so we don't get overwhelmed with the piles of laundry, or the dust bunnies that scoot across the floor. 

We want to enable our children to have the best experiences in their school or extracurricular activities so we add more to our Productivity list, and become coaches, or volunteer at the school library.   In order to get all of these things done we have opened the door to the beast called Multi-tasking.  We cross things off our list with a sigh of relief, only to replace it with yet another task that we can accomplish on our way to bringing the kids to soccer practice and grocery shopping. 

And it seems that along with Multi-tasking and Productivity goes Perfectionism. We are told from a very young age that if we can master all of these we will be akin to God himself!

So we set ourselves up for failure, by striving for the impossible, each of us thinking that it will be ME that conquers that 3-headed dragon! We risk health, marriage, friendship, family, and wealth and dedicate ourselves to honing these three skills.

But isn't it a wonderful gift to be able to forgive imperfections, and accept them still as beautiful?!   The burl wood that is known for it's beauty and richness is actually the part of the tree that results from some sort of stress or malignancy.

Yet we treasure the wood from this part of the tree and consider it most beautiful.

Isn't it at the crossroads of nature's perfection and imperfection  that we find fascination and awe?

I know that in my own life the balancing of Multi-tasking, Productivity, and Perfectionism is a skill that needs constant monitoring.  In the past, I had tended to throw myself into perfecting something to the point of ignoring productivity or multi-tasking.  But when I couldn't achieved perfection, I have thrown it down in frustration and have never gone back to it.  For a while, I was getting a lot of piles of imperfect and unfinished projects.  But as time went by, I realized that perfection may not be the point after all.  And that the Attempt is the valiant thing.  Growth does not happen from the perfecting of something, but rather in the Attempts!  With this realization, I was able to let go of the constant voice in my head that demanded that everything in my environment be just so, and all that I accomplished was perfectly executed.  I realized that I didn't need to be constantly busy in order to be productive, and that multi-tasking actually dillutes my participation in any one task thereby negating whatever pursuit of perfection there could have been.  Why spend time on a task that you aren't doing well?  By letting go of perfection and doing one task at a time, I became more daring, more focused, and more accepting of things that didn't turn out as I had visualized them.  I began to examine what I did do and see the beauty in it, and then go on from there.  Perfection by definition seems to require a certain sameness or symmetry.  To accomplish perfection requires vast technical skills. . . but creativity is lacking.  The way I see it, creativity happens first, with perfection happening after the creative thought has already been born. 

Now, I no longer strive to get my list done so much as I try to focus on each project, really entering into it and learning from it.  Making a cup of coffee becomes a sensual experience and dusting a shelf becomes a lesson in physics.  My projects no longer require perfection, but rather they require an 'intent' towards perfection.  Although I still strive to do things perfectly, I know that the journey and the subsequent growth is the point on which I need to focus rather than the destination.  Imperfection and I coexist, and I find myself learning more and pushing my limits even further.  Now, even though I accept imperfection, I have found myself becoming a deeper person and am happier for it.  I am finding that imperfection is part of the interesting fabric of life, and that each little slub is a story of growth, and each flaw is a look into the soul of humankind.