Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Creeping Into Cyberspace

Well, this is it. I am creeping onto the information highway.

I'm not really opposed to technology, but I have always sort of suspected that the internet is a place for people with too much time on their hands. And that blogs were the territory of the angst-ridden or those prone to bizarre rants. Recent experience has shown me otherwise--I have also discovered the blogs of thoughtful and insightful individuals, filled with useful fibre information, ideas and inspiration. We shall see if I fall into the angst and rant category, or the thoughtful....only time will tell.

A little framework for this thing: I am a fibre artist who works primarily as a handspinner and custom knitting designer. I also dabble in weaving, felting, beading and soft sculptural techniques. These activities have defined my life for the past 20 years, and in recent years have become an actual career. I also work as the Art Gallery Coordinator for the Visual Arts department of the local college.

Then in September of 2005, I fractured my wrist and dislocated my knee in a bizarre acting accident. I was immobilized for about 2 weeks, and had my left arm and hand in a cast for 2 months. I also developed a wee post-traumatic stress problem--my office is about 20 feet from where I was injured and I could not go to work without having panic attacks-- and was referred for counselling by the nurse at the college.

So, off I go to counselling. I have had to do some pretty drastic things to get over the fear that I will be injured if I walk out my door, but I can put in a day's work without bursting into tears or suffering chest pain. I'm still not so happy in crowds, but then I never did like line-ups and large clusters of humanity. So therapy is working. However, my therapist pointed out that I seem rather apologetic about what I do with my time and suggested that I start to speak openly about my work to people outside of my small community of spinners and fibre fanatics. This is step one.

It was very traumatic to lose the use of one hand when so much of my life had revolved around working with my hands for so long. I have a new perspective on what fibre and textile work means to me, and I have promised myself that fibre will not be shoved to the back burner when "more important" things come along. Yes, I do have a steady paying gig at the art gallery, but it is only 20 hours a week. That leaves 148 hours every week. Take out time for sleep and food, and that still leaves a lot of time that could be spent on fibre. And now that I know how crazy I get when I can't work with my hands, I have to cherish every second that I can spend doing it.

I've taken enough time away from fibre already--back to the real whorl.

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