Patience (originally published February 2021)
Creativity can be like a spring, flowing enthusiastically, with little or no regard for any limitations that any vessel it passes through might have. This is why artists and makers can at time appear to be chaotic in their pursuits, as they are taken over by the muse, and find themselves driven to create, regardless of any other considerations.
For makers with chronic health issues, this can be tricky as we have more limitations to consider. I know that’s the main reason I went so long without picking up any wire. I was afraid to try. I was afraid what would happen if I couldn’t work as I did before. I was afraid I’d find that I was left with more than a damaged heart.
So I did other things. I experimented in the kitchen from time to time. I gave quilting and sewing another go. And eventually I picked up my knitting needles again. Then I made a birthday gift for my sister, a large wire knit mandala for her window. It was a bittersweet process for me. I was reminded of why I love wire knitting and how strenuous it can be. I joyfully gave her the gift and then tucked my tools away again for over a year. I closed down my business at the end of 2019 and mourned.
Early in 2021, I realized I was missing a piece of myself and had been since my health crisis. I needed to reclaim my creative identity, for the sake of my mental health and my ongoing recovery. So I took the plunge and decided to reinvent myself and The Knitted Raven was born.
But that was just the beginning of course. Over the past month or so, I’ve discovered that wire working is far more strenuous than I remembered. I’ve also learned that even knitting with luxury lace weight yarn is strenuous for me. I may have a few productive hours in a day, but that’s it. When I push myself, I end up having to do next to nothing for the next two to three days.
I won’t lie. This has been far more challenging than I had anticipated. But I can’t let go and give in. I need to be creative, even if my productivity is completely and utterly unpredictable.
And today is one of those days where my blood pressure is in my boots and I can’t get out of my own way. I’ve spent most of the day in my chair as I’ve been unsteady on my feet. I’ve been looking at the spring so to speak, carefully circling it, appreciating its flow, the sound it makes as the water hits the colorful pebbles in my psyche.
And I wait, patiently, until I can run through it once again.