Addicted to Potential

threads DSC_0106_edited-1

Creativity can be messy. The hardest part about the kids growing up and moving away was that I had no one to blame for the mess anymore. (Although one of them makes serious historically authentic bows and arrows and swords and even the most amazing costumes for his little boy, and I’ve seen the aftermath on his kitchen table. The other two are perpetual home renovators. Now that’s messy.) I have ideas for refinishing furniture, sewing, painting (in several media) cooking, writing, photography, song-writing. I pick up materials when they are on sale or available at the thrift shop. I’m kind of addicted to potential.

I really want to make leggings for the grandbaby out of recycled sweaters – wait, the baby is talking in full sentences now. Oh dear.

I finally finished a quilt this week that has been awaiting binding for several months. I took one square apart and reassembled it more than once, but now it’s done.

I’ve got a pretty good song jotted down on manuscript paper sitting on the piano – well, except for the harmony in the bridge for the accompaniment. I wrote the lyrics for that one four years ago. When the notes are all penciled in I need to enter it into the computer. I hope I can remember how. Every updated version of the music program seems to require a complete brain overhaul.

There’s a pile of potential in a trunk under my sewing table, and unframed canvases leaning on the wall. I really should entitle my recipe collection on Pinterest, “As If.”

My friend asked if I intend to live long enough to finish all these projects. Yes. As a matter of fact I do. I figure if you stop planning for the future you might as well not have one. Besides, I’ve made investments in all this raw material.

Some projects take a long time. Some of my favourite things have remained in an unfinished state for longer than I care to admit, but eventually, like the quilt, they are ready to throw on the bed in the guest room or hang on a wall. Sometimes I set things aside when I don’t like the way they are going. I’m not giving up on them, just taking time to re-think them. If you were to look in the storage bin in my closet at something under ponderment it might look like a confused mess. But in my mind I see a dozen different ways it could go. I just need to find the right one for those materials and colours. It’s a process.

Sometimes we look at people who are in process and wonder why they are taking up room in our lives. Nothing ever seems to change. They’re a mess. OK, truth is, so am I. But God sees our potential and he’s not giving up on us. He’s invested too much – and he has all the time in the world.

The Squeeze

Photo: moulded

Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould.

(Romans 12:2 -J.B. Phillips version)

I’m weird.

I’m weird and finally okay with it.

Some people are just meant to be on the edge of the crowd, not really out there, but not really fitting in either.

If something is trending you’ll find me wending down some other path. I figure the trendies have got that one covered.

When the tourists are snapping photos of each other in front of  iced mountain peaks, I’m focusing on lichen blanketed rocks in the ditch. I weep for the clown, rejoice for the beggar, fast at the feast,  and arise to do battle at night. When the clan gathers for a celebration in the heat of a summer’s eve, I slip out in the moonlight to breathe the cool falling cedar and pine air as it settles along the creek bed.

My poor, dear mother never knew what to do with me. I was hopelessly out of step.

I tried. I really did. I wore the uncomfortable fashionable clothes and the crippling high heels. I endured the horrid chemical smells of perms and hair dyes and nail polish. I spent far too much of my income and far too many years of my life obsessively following diet and exercise programs that, in the long run, always left me in worse shape than when I started. I listened to hours of pop music trying to understand the allure of a limited assortment of repetitive chords, rhythms and lyrics. I read the best-sellers and watched the Oscared pondering the pay-off of fear and pessimism. I paid attention to political pundits who knew what was wrong with everyone else’s ideas and I faithfully endured more sermons and devotional talks than I dare to recall. I tried to participate in the church ladies’ games (which usually involved rolls of toilet paper and or unscrambling baby and cooking related words.) The only spiritual maturity I gained from those exercises was learning how to doze with my eyes open and with an is-every-body-happy-smile on my face.

Then I realized one day I was spending a lot of effort trying to win the approval of people who didn’t really have mine -not that they were doing anything wrong, it’s just that I had no passion for the things that seemed to move them.

There is only one person whose approval I really need, and that is God’s. He likes weird. He can work with weird. When I look at the weird folk he loved in the Bible I realize I am in good company. Jesus didn’t exactly fit in either.

The crowd can move on without me. I’ll catch up later. Right now I am just enjoying watching the osprey flying a pas de deux, the daisies growing in cracks of asphalt, and working on becoming who God intended me to be in the first place.