15 June 2018

Construction and Reconstruction

It's Friday!  Who else has fit two or three work weeks into this one?!  Life here is a gorgeous tornado these days.  The kind of life that leaves you tumbling into bed with bandaids on your fingers and gratitude on your lips for all the busy-ness and the chaos that, despite the effort and the fatigue, make everything good both possible and present. 

For those of you who may be new here or who didn't know, there is a little cottage on the back of my property.  It served as a rental unit for me until a few years ago, when my tenant (ahem, now my husband... ) moved out... to move in with me (but that's a whole different post).  Now, we are gutting the structure to make space for an open, airy teaching studio, fully equipped with metalsmithing tools, an inspirational reference library, an inviting atmosphere and ample work space for small groups of six or so students.  


So far, we've uncovered a brick ventilation column which I had hoped would end up being a fireplace.  Sadly, it wasn't so.  Also under the surfaces: hidden doorways, a fruit cocktail wallpaper, a snake or two, and even a really creepy stash of old stuffed animals up in the attic.  I have to say that construction excites me, and reconstruction excites me even more.  I'm not one of these that has a natural eye for potential, meaning that I can't really envision what a space could become until it's empty.  Watching the rooms slowly clear out has been such a thrill... sort of exciting and intimidating and full of prospects all at the same time, like a blank canvas or an empty page.  Sheer possibility.

With the tearing down of the old, though, comes a lot of mess.  There's a lot of history to be sorted through, some of which I'd like to save to add to the character of what is being redone, and much of which just needs to be released to the garbage or Habitat for Humanity.  Living in this dusty span of time is chaotic and my stress, like my joy, soars... something about my anxiety over loose ends and unknowns and just general chaos, everything scattered around my feet and the knowing that I'm half way in... just as far to go to get out, and the best way to do so is through!  Now we're committed.  I look at the piles of shit laying around me and grin-wince: it's SO good, and it's SO terrifying.  It's all just making me grow.

On a parallel note... I'm tearing myself apart as well.  I haven't talked too much about it outside of my family and closest friends but I promised myself back in January that this, THIS, was going to be the year of radical self care.  Last year brought too much loss, and despite all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me in this life, I felt myself slipping into something darker than my vision could penetrate, heavier than I could carry.  No amount of reassurance, "perspective" or pep talks could pull me out of it and on some deep level I knew faintly that the only one who was really going to save me from this depression was myself.  It took a few months and many false starts, but I feel I'm gaining some traction now.  

As such, it's been a season of refinement by fire.  My time has been spent more on writing, more on making and experimenting with techniques and even new materials (I'm falling in love with textiles, so... that might be something), creating new samples and projects for upcoming silversmithing classes, cooking new recipes, tending to climbing rose vines, reading books on Stoicism and Highly Sensitive People and God and Ketogenics and Boundaries and The Human Species and Indoor Plants.  I've spent four days a week strength training as if it were my religion, convinced that any weakness I feel inside is worn on the outside.  I've taken to braiding or curling my hair just to show myself a bit of love, to moisturizing my cracked hands, to adding supplements to my daily vitamin, to journaling everything that feels good and everything that still guts me.  I tickle Jovie Rose.  I design dream homes with The Monkey.  I literally, quite often, sweat and bleed more than I have been accustomed to.  Callouses are forming on my hands and soul- not in a negative way but in a protective, productive way that says these parts of me are getting a lot of use.  Mostly I ask question after question as the days go by, and with every honest answer, a surface layer falls aside and I'm a bit more hollow... much in the way that a little cottage might become while being gutted to make space for a grander purpose. 

This is emotional demolition.
This is bulldozing through my own dated patterns of behavior.
I look at the piles of shit laying around me and laugh.
I laugh a lot.
Because it's ALL a LOT.
And it's all helping me grow.

Interior heart spaces, hallways of memory, exterior structures, future goals... all the areas of my life that serve as a foundation for whatever dreams I plan to see through, whatever steps I choose to take? We have to take care of these arenas, nurture the ever loving hell out of them. More and more I see the responsibility that I have not just to my children, to my husband, to my students, to my patrons and parents and friends, but to myself.  It's so much easier to live and die for others.  It's so much harder to do it for yourself, and yet in the "for myself", I'm finding my power... Trying harder each day, and granting myself some grace.

How are you doing, Sister?  How are you Growing?

Image via Pinterest


  1. Your words are as beautiful as your jewelry. Thank you for the glimpses into your wild vulnerable soul. AND I’m ready to sign up for classes 😊

  2. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I love this so much. I'm glad you're finding your way out of depression. She and I have tangled all too many times. Self-care and self-love seem to be such tricky slippery lessons. I'm trying to really grasp them myself. As an aside, I've been hearing about HSP more and more. I first heard about it a couple of years ago and realized In check all of the boxes. I recently picked up The Highly Sensitive Person book. It helps me to know there are others wired similarly. Wishing you good things and inspired by your work. P.S. I'm adding grin-wince to my vocabulary. It's so true.

  4. Love this and you so much....and those smiles❤


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