after they’re gone

It’s the day after Nick and I prepared a number of jewellery pieces to leave home and strike out on their own. They’re making an appearance at a weekend retreat for a number of women friends, and we’re hoping they sell.

All week, we’ve been sorting through the beaded necklaces, bracelets, anklets, earrings and rings we’d made over the past year, pricing, putting them into little bags and marvelling at how many pieces we had actually accumulated. We made business cards, arranged everything in a little case, completed an anklet as a gift for the hostess, and delivered it all yesterday.

Today, the glow of achievement has worn off, leaving me filled with lassitude. Reluctant to start anything knew, vaguely grumpy with the mess left in my studio after all that intense activity, and yes, a little disappointed that the world didn’t suddenly send flowers, money and a marching band to our door saying “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”.

It’s funny, I did a lot of that beading just to please myself. I love the feel of the tiny rounds, the sparkle and the colour. I love the motion of pulling thread at arm’s length, and the precision of lining up the beads and holes in graceful directions. Even the merry, bouncing chinkle (isn’t that a neat word!) when they escape my needle to drop on the floor sounds exciting. I still have lots of beads in front of me, patiently waiting for action. So why should I be so low?

Maybe this is part of why finishing anything – a piece of writing or music or a project – can be challenging. It’s a kind of death. There’s no possibility left of changing or improving the thing. It has to stand on its own feet, without me explaining what’s marvellous about it, or promising more to come. The piece exists, and I must find another focus for my energy.

Maybe I’m mourning the loss of one way of life before a new one begins. There was a mild disorientation when I looked at those completed pieces of beading. I felt they weren’t mine in the same way as when I worked on them. A few of the older pieces already looked unfamiliar, as if someone else had created them. And really, someone else had. I’m a different person today than I was last year, and I see that distance viscerally when I hold that bracelet, or anklet.

At the same time, new colour combinations are tempting me this morning, and there’s a new stitch I want to learn.

Maybe I’m feeling a wee bit better!

#beadweaving, #finishing, #separation anxiety

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