What an odd week. September 11 is always a tough day for me, because I find myself wrestling with old anger and grief, and trying to turn it over to God at the same time that I am trying to channel it into something productive and transformative. I get a bit better at that with every passing year. But hard on the heels of that day and that remembering is the anniversary of my mother’s passing, not quite nine months after Nick and I got married in 1989. I am far less successful at channeling my grief and regret over that loss in positive ways – after 23 years, I still feel the sharp ache and sorrow of missed opportunities, the way we were both so well-intentioned and passionate and yet so completely incapable of actually reaching one another.
And on 9/11 itself, I had a truly weird and disconcerting experience that left me unsettled – I lay down for a nap midday and was abruptly awakened by a pounding on the front door. I don’t mean just knocking – someone was pounding loudly and urgently, and the dogs were nearly apoplectic. I yelled, “I’m coming!!” and the knocking stopped – by the time I got the bedroom door open and could see out the windows by the front door, there was no one there. I ran to the window and didn’t see anyone going down the walk or in the street. I was thoroughly disoriented, having been asleep just moments before, and my little Rocky dog was literally bouncing off the front door with the ferocity of his response – he was unsettled too. I went to all the windows and looked outside, front and back, but didn’t see a thing. It was quite disturbing, and I confess that I worked the rest of the day with the alarm on and Rocky nearby. (He may look cute, but he is incredibly strong and I have no doubt that he would die to protect me – he’s not kidding around when he alerts to a stranger on the premises.)
So with this week’s emotional bookends of loss and grief, and the bizarre and unsettling visitation from two days ago, I’m kind of tired and out of sorts. Yesterday was particularly bad – I didn’t sleep well and the news out of the Middle East made me angry all over again. Such a useless response, I know, but I am who I am and I believe these things matter. (If you are not planning to vote in this election, shame on you. Go and vote, for heaven’s sake – people in the world are literally dying for the privilege!)
So I calmed myself by sticking to my plan this week of kicking all that administrative stuff in the butt if it killed me – and I got it all done. All my new purchases into inventory, all my completed pieces into inventory and photographed, and draft Etsy listings set up for all of it. I’ve been putting things into the shop as I get the photos edited, and I am delighted to say that process too is improving. I’ve gotten better at working with my good camera and setting up and taking photos in the right light – I have to do less and less to make them ready for publication, and that’s a relief in addition to being a time savings. Progress feels good, and I really can’t believe the number of completed pieces that were just sitting around.
I have lots of ideas rattling around in my head, and am finally figuring out a way to strike a balance between working in production (quantity) mode and creative (one of a kind) mode. It’s true that creativity begets creativity – the more I create the more I want to create and so the more I create. It’s a great thing, and I am fed by it, and I am deeply grateful for this season of my life.
What about you? Are you creating now that school’s in session? How is your fall shaping up?