“Unused creativity is not benign” (said Brené Brown in this podcast) – it festers within us until it becomes something harmful. Something that nags at us and weighs on us until it is expressed into being.
Mourning the loss of a life selfishly lived was a big part of my adjustment period as a mother. I’ve spoken about this in regards to postpartum here, but similar feelings exist beyond the early days of motherhood.
Here too, Brené Brown said, “The only unique contribution that we will make in this world will be born of creativity.”
But what happens when the mothering of motherhood interferes with the creative bursts that come with this inspired role? If there isn’t time to express creativity in motherhood, then what good is this drive to make? Is it enough for mothers to make children and in them find joy? Of course, but what if we find ourselves craving something more?
Have you ever felt this way with your creativity?
Time between makings creates a bottleneck and nothing comes out right. Leaving ideas to exist in half-started bursts with none of the magic of the once clear idea brought to fruition.
My biggest challenge in recent months has been finding the time and clarity of mind for my writing. Time again, this is what I set out to do. Except that pulling the words is difficult. My ideas come as disorganized bursts. Rather than clarity, in my writing I find doubt, which creates a blockage.
What happens when we can’t find the time, energy, or even inspiration for making in our usual and favourite formats? Endless days of being pulled here and there and from all directions of our lives surely take their toll on us. I’d argue that it’s because of our lack of time and energy that we especially need to make space in our lives for expression. In these hurried days of our lives, it’s easy to become run down and get caught up in the flurry rather than slow down and tend to our needs for simple tasks with which to occupy our minds and hands.
With this in mind, I took to expressing my pent up creativity in a new format.
Overcoming creativity blocks
For a time now the monthly workshops held at Harold + Ferne have been piquing my interest. Because I’ve been needed at bedtime for Finn, I haven’t been able to attend. Recently, with a few changes made to our bedtime routine, I finally had the opportunity to be a part of a wall weaving workshop led by shop owner, Olivia.
Harold + Ferne is a shop in my local downtown that showcases and makes available for sale an ever-changing variety of handmade goods and artisan wares. You can arrive at the shop down the alley just past popular Mariposa Market. Here you will find a delight to the eye and is the perfect place to go in search of a unique gift for any occasion.
Some of my favourite artisans and makers at Harold + Ferne include:
Jessica Wisniewski, of Flux Glass Co., modernizes stained glass with her nature-inspired pieces.
Joanna Crichton, who you have heard of from me here before, has the most beautiful print on display at the shop that I have a mind to purchase when I’m next in!
The Wall Weaving Workshop
At the workshop, we came to the makers table where a few other women were set up with their materials. Essential oils were diffusing in the corner and maple tea in the most beautiful pottery tea set I’ve maybe ever seen was at the ready for our evening’s work. Baskets were brimming with an assortment of small yarn pieces. We were instructed to choose and match colours, yarn thickness and textures together for our projects. This is where the magic of creativity begins: the choosing.
There’s something therapeutic about working with your hands in careful, repetitive tasks. The evening flew by with the light touches of conversation and movement as our unique pieces came together under the watchful eye of our instructor, Olivia.
In the end, I walked away with the materials and skills of my new craft, but more importantly to me, the inspired moments shared with these women in the midst of making and through shared storytelling. I think there’s no mistaking that I’m drawn to stories, and so I’m not surprised that in the end I got much more out of this workshop than a new craft to put my odds and ends of yarn toward.
Crafting is one of those under appreciated tasks that we seem only to tend to given the time to do so, but I know a few important women in my life who regularly devote themselves to making. I worry sometimes that in our consumerist society we risk losing the art of many of the “hobbies” that used to be important tasks in a homemaker’s life. Please feel free to share some of your favourite things to make or crafts to tend to, and in doing so reassure me that the art of these skills are not lost.
In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy a few shots from the wall weaving workshop.