Saturday, 18 January 2020

What to do with a snowy week

It’s been snowing steadily here. First a major dump of about 30-40 cm. that resulted in impassable roads and school and business closures. Snow on this island, slippery and slimy, is not something to be macho about – BC drivers are not wimps, they’re just smart. Stay home.

Then, just when that was under control, it began to rain. And then snow again. And now rain again. A stretch of ten feet of slushy snow 10 inches deep separate our cleared driveway (thanks, Snowblower George!) from our one-lane equally slushy street. It’s called heart-attack snow, so we are holed up again. And that is okay by me. ...

Enforced enclosure can be very good for body and soul.

Enforced enclosure prompts me to sort through my unfinished art projects and get moving on them. At least 10 are 3/4 complete, just needing finishing touches. Several are now finished. There, that felt good!
A big-bed quilt for Grace, a work in progress since last May. 

Arbutus at Night, promised to someone last fall.
But enforced enclosure also gives me the time to listen to my heart. My head tells me that I must not start anything new until the old is done. All those unfinished projects! But then my heart sees a photo we took at Christmas; our grandchildren are walking together in the woods, laughing and chatting. They are enjoying each other's company.

I want so badly to capture this very precious and yet so ordinary moment and translate it into an art piece. Creating this piece will make my heart sing. Enforced enclosure changes the boundaries of time; it feels like I am in an oasis where time for a little while stands still, and I can do this thing that makes my heart sing without worrying about the “next” thing to do.

Paper pictures of the kids are pinned to this new work in progress. Mitchell isn't in the photos, but he will be added. I like it!
Enforced enclosure gives me time to think about a new word for the year. Last year my word for the year was “EXPLORE” but honestly, I didn’t have the energy or will to follow through on that. My word last year should have been “fallow” – because that’s what I seemed to be. I didn’t produce much new creative work, and I seemed to be waiting for something to sprout. I learned (again!!!) that you cannot force this kind of growth, that new growth needs its period of dormancy. I sort through options for new words but can’t choose, so maybe that’s what the word needs to be: UNSURE.

At first glance, “unsure” seems like such a negative wishy-washy approach to a new year. Set your goals, our culture tells them. No pain, no gain. Follow your bliss. Move. But Unsure is where I am at, and I do believe that’s okay, even a good thing. If we cannot accept uncertainty, doubt, dormancy, and occasional aimless wandering, if we are driven to achieve our preconceived goals, we may pass up many opportunities that present themselves. Perhaps we will pass by the open door that is beckoning to us, calling us to enter and experience new joys. So I will learn, I hope, this year, to be at peace with unsure, and to keep my ears and eyes and heart open to new possibilities.

Enforced enclosure has given me time to sort through my writings that have focused on family history and personal reflections, including some of my blogs, over the last ten years. It’s a big jumble of possibilities and it will take time to sort out what’s good and what’s not. In this case, I listened to my heart and have enrolled in a writing course for non-fiction writers who wish to have help creating a manuscript. And I have been corresponding with a published author of a wonderful memoir who has agreed to be my writing coach.

Both these books are wonderful. Carla Funk is the memoirist, writing about growing up in a Mennonite community in Vanderhoof, BC.
I am unsure if there will be an end product, but that is okay. It’s a door that has opened, and I am walking through to see what new joys await me.

And last, enforced enclosure has given me time, too, to experiment in a safe place with the words, “I am finished with CrowDayOne.” I try it out on the Resident Sweetie, and the stars do not stop in their courses. I try it out on a friend or two and they are still my friends. I say it to myself, and it feels right. This blog – CrowDayOne – is finished. But I still need to write, and I still hope to communicate with all of you, the wonderful 14 readers who stuck with  me through thick and thin. I wonder where that will go. Perhaps I will start a new blog. Or write a book. Or create a web page. Or...well, let’s just say I am unsure, but the wide-open future awaits.