April 12, 2009

Finding that Whatever

Since I prepared my Sunday School lesson on Saturday, for a change, I had some extra Google Reader time this morning. My sister showed me how you can zip through lots of blogs, quickly, yet still reading them all, as the time you save is in the click-clicking. Fine by me.

Mimi Kirchner, whose blog is called Doll, was a potter in a full-fledged studio when it all burned down. As she says on her blog:

Ten years ago today, the studio building where I had worked for 11 1/2 years- the Kendall Center for the Arts, burned down. The fire has been one of those markers in my life- before the fire when I did pottery, and after the fire. Right after the fire was a very difficult time for me- no surprise. It happened right in the midst of my art midlife crisis. Losing my studio and community, my sketchbooks, photos and notebooks, changed where I even considered going next. I have thought a lot about how the loss propelled me into new directions in a way that might have never happened otherwise. You know- all those phoenix rising analogies. It was after the fire that I got onto the internet. That’s right- before mid-1999, I was a computer illiterate. And why did I get onto the internet? I wanted to replace the books I’d lost. And I found Ebay- which turned out to be the gateway drug to the wide world of the internet for me! Wow- and did that ever start me off on an interesting path.

So, this is one of those tales- bad things happen and you never know where you’ll be 10 years later. I know I have been lucky.

So, I strolled through her blog, finding the Tiny World creations (photo at top, click on that to go to the blog entry I found).

In between the church hymns and church and Sunday School and candy and time with family, I thought about this off and on all day. What would I do, if the passion I was following, suddenly and horrifically disappeared. (Not that I haven't thought about that--I could become blind, or unable to hear, and how would I read or write?) But to have it gone--poof!

She has found a new bliss, a enchanting bliss that has introduced her and her dolls to one of the most widely read blogs in the craft world: PurlBee, an offshoot of the New York shop PurlSoho. From a fire, a lot of hard work, a creative vision, a willingness to put herself out there (can creativity really ever be held back?), more hard work, participating in the community she's a part of, and poof! an overnight (ha!) success.

One thing I learned quite profoundly when I was participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge was how much I missed being part of a community. I hadn't done much writing since graduating and being dumped as a new teacher in a subject with which I wasn't familiar. Every day was plan lessons, make up material, figure out the book, teach, grade and then that year I did summer school as well. (Rinse and repeat.) I was also involved in my church in a huge service responsibility, which I did willingly and learned and grew, but was growing away from where I was, or thought I should be. Mostly I ended up exhausted.

I feel lately like I'm standing in front of a burned out building, watching the fire crew hose down my dreams, melting my ambitions, washing away Whatever It Was I Thought I Had.

I write here every day. It's my challenge. And it's my teensiest of threads that I hope will bind me to my eventual Whatever. . . as soon as I find it.


  1. You have inspired me this morning - with the wonderful link and your quest to recapture the passion for writing.

  2. The SOLSC really was a community-in-a-box... just add writing, and now that it's over, I see you working hard to maintain and build on that experience, Elizabeth. Who knows what you'll end up with if you keep plugging? Discovery is part of the fun.

  3. Losing sight is one of the things that I think would effect my life the most! I just can't imagine giving up reading. Listening just isn't the same.

    My friend cut her finger off with a saw last fall, and I have thought about that often: no more piano (I can barely play with 10...losing one would end my career), typing would change, writing would change, sewing would change.

    I think I started blogging after finishing all my courses for exactly the reasons I talked about. I like feeling like someone is expecting me to write, and I like having feedback. I like sharing my thoughts.