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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Fingerpainting in Fiber



Smooth, cool color. Slipping silkily, thru my fingers. Beautiful colors blending at my touch. A scent- that I can only recall as earthy.

Fingerpainting is what saved me from flunking kindergarten, or from deciding I hated school.

As I watched Noah, (and his daddy, actually) fingerpainting, the other day. I realized that my affection for art and tactile creation started long before my knitting, and spinning began.

When I spin, I feel the same silky flow- of color, and texture scent and creation, all blending at the wheel.

Honestly- there have been vague twangs of guilt, as I have spent time, expense and brain-power learning (and possibly obsessing) and experimenting, with this new endeavor. I suppose-I feel guilt because there are so many more "lofty" things I could spend my time doing.

Here is what I've found by experience: There is some part of me that is wired to be creative. I love music, I love color, design, decorating, and now knitting and spinning. I love writing, I love teaching. These are all creative endeavors.

I used to have this impending feeling of fear, like I would someday run out of creativity. Run out of things to say, write, teach and create. I think it casued me to hold onto ideas, sit on them, not write them, for fear that maybe if I did, then there would be nothing left.

But- lately, while spending time more closely involved in the creative process, I've realized that the time I spedn fingerpainting in fiber, is helping to build creative synergy, and actually helps me be more productive in my more "Noble" activities. (Like parenting, being a wife , teaching and writing.)

Years ago, I went to a MOPS http://mops.org/ (Mothers of Preschoolers) convention, and Elisa Morgan, President of MOPS International, used a juicebox being sucked dry as a visual reminder to Mom's, that if we allow our boxes to be drained dry, there will be nothing left to pour out to others. I suppose I am finding that a creative outlet, including one that is tactile, helps "fill" my juicebox.

I've decided not to feel guilty about filling my emotional tank anymore. I'll be careful not to use my hobbies as a "medication"... to avoid feeling or dealing with life. But- I'll continue to enjoy them, and allow them to re-fuel me... for the real work. ;)

Annie Modesitt compiled a book of essays on knitting and grief- called "Cheaper Than Therapy" I'd add fresh air, sunshine and spinning to that equation. :) It is. (Cheaper than therapy, I mean)

Fingerpainting. In Kindergarten, it's used to help build the pre-writing skills of eye hand coordination, color recognition etc.

I wonder if there is something in your life, that God uses to "re-fuel" you, to fill your juicebox, or to build your skill set for something He's called you to. If so...... Just Do It. If you don't there just may be nothing left to pour out, to give, to others.

Dear Lord- I am enjoying this creative endeavor, I pray that you would use it, to help build and encourage me, to help me reach out to others, I pray that you'd help me to allow it to trun my eyes always toward you- I love you Lord- amen... PS--- lord--- Sheep that produce wool? Worms that make silk? Alpaca's? Really amazing! You're creation is incredible Lord!


Psalm 139
1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
5 You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, [
a] you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,"
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.


13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to [
b] me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.


19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you? 22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


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