I had a blissful studio retreat, a long weekend filled with indigo, creativity and an escape from all the things that wear me down in everyday life. I have a small box filled with blue yarn and fiber, treasures that will help me weave the story of Indigo the cat.
Now, Edelweiss the cat wanted nothing to do with the dye pot. I guess the scent of overcooked snow peas does not appeal to feline sensibilities. But that’s the way the indigo vat smells. I like snow peas, and I like the earthy scent of the vat.
No retreat ever goes quite as planned. I exhausted the indigo vat on solid color fibers and yarns, leaving no dye for the shibori I planned. I have faint ghosts of shibori, whispers in ice blue. On a warmer day, that might be an appealing theme, but on this cold January night, I would rather think of the strong blue colors instead.
By the end of the second day, I was a bit exhausted. I wove less than I had planned. I never did any cooking, and didn’t eat very well. A successful retreat needs a cook, and without one, it needs a kitchen full of wholesome, ready to eat food.
I had plenty of time for reflection, meditation and journaling. I reaffirmed that I am comfortable with my desire for handmade clothing. I confirmed my suspicion that my spinning skills are improving. I used to spin a mighty piece of string when I spun linen. Now, I can spin a two ply piece of finer string. I still need to work on linen and hemp. Surely I can do better than make string?
My word of the year is accountability. I never really liked that word, because it is often used as a weapon to accuse and demoralize people, especially in the corporate world. When I drew it from the deck of cards as my word of the year, I wilted at the thought of being poked, prodded and questioned by others. To whom, I wondered, was my creative life accountable?
To me. Only to me. I share it with you, and I appreciate your feedback and your inspiration, but we travel as equals on this path and do not need each other’s approval to be made whole. The only thing I ask of myself is to be authentic. The real me. Accept no substitutes. And that’s as far as the accountability needs to go.
Edelweiss purrs and whispers, “OK, as long as there are no more peas.”