Tag Archives: figurines

A Can of Good Worms and a Cow

Little did I know, when I joined The Vermont Hand Crafters, last fall, that I was opening a wonderful “can of good worms.”

Normally, the mere mention of said can conjures up the possibility of imminent, overwhelming and dark challenges. While the word “overwhelming” is rather appropriate in this case, light, not darkness sets the tone.

The first bright challenge arrived after I had spent several months immersed (as much as possible) in building an inventory of paper mâché animals, gift pouches and brooches for prospect shops and galleries. A couple of clients for whom I had previously done some website design and social media management convinced me to return. I had promised myself, or so I thought, that I was done with that career path, but something in me could not resist.  I accepted.

No regrets. Now, I am enjoying this more than ever, and I am convinced that it is precisely because of my restored confidence in my art and commitment to it. I feel more complete now, somehow.

The overwhelming part comes into play at this point, and lies in the fact that I have received back to back invitations to join gift shops and galleries. This, in fact, has been effortless, and all thanks to my decision to splurge (for it was a splurge at the time) on a membership with The Vermont Hand Crafters. Doors are just opening before I even knock.

I am not saying that I expect this to be the norm, and I can only do so much anyway. The last several months have been a juggling act between two or three social media or web design gigs and making room every day to build an ongoing inventory that vanishes to a new venue the moment it is complete.

This is the newest batch… and a cow was born.

Hearts

My father-in-law passed away a few hours after midnight. He lived well. He was tired and ready. I am glad for him.

Our lives are so linear. We take on roles and play our parts in the scenarios of our time, all the while much aware that the characters will change, leave and die, yet somehow thrown off course when this happens, as if it had not been written in the story already.

I don’t know why I think about this now more than before. I’ve had plenty of occasions. Many people have left my storyline unexpectedly, some by their own hand, some murdered and others by more natural means, yet it seems only now that I realize how it all vanishes in the blink of an eye, as if we were missing the point, somehow. I have no words, really. I am neither sad nor frightened. Simply trying to grasp something that cannot be grasped.

I sometimes imagine looking down on the earth with a giant magnifying glass, in fast forward, seeing families form, grow, struggle, fight, celebrate, mourn, work, achieve, fail, shop, go to school, to ball games, to holiday dinners, touching each other in so many ways, making world history with every action, however small, and then… one by one… just gone.

Somehow, somewhere along the way, we miss the point. The thing is, we have no idea what “the point” is, except that we become a memory, and without others even that is not possible. That is the point then: others.

Valentines’ Day approaches and making this a celebration of passion and love is not the point. It is about friendship. There is no love without friendship as a foundation. And without friendship, perhaps there are no true memories either.

Years ago, I felt discomfort when someone asked me to make items that were specific to a holiday, like Valentines’ Day for example. I even declined. I did not get it. I was blinded by a self-imposed ideal whereby I should not make “commercial” items. Perhaps when we’re blinded by what we think love is supposed to mean, or to be, we also cannot see the friendship that is the starting point and the real flame to entertain.

Now I see Valentines’ Day as an opportunity to acknowledge friends, whether they be lovers, parents, neighbors, children, teachers, mentors or even pets. And these things I make are simply meant as a gift to say, “You are not forgotten. Thank you for sharing this moment in my life.”

Slàinte!

Gift pouches and dolls available at Ornament Studio, Jeffersonville, VT.