Thursday, April 12, 2012

Still Getting Storied - still working my way through the etsy symposium workbook

To continue on from last week.

I'm working my way through the Get Storied section of the workbook from the recent Etsy Success Symposium: Get Found

This section is designed to get you thinking about your back story. Where do you come from, what defines you, stuff like that. I managed two of the questions last time, there are three left to go.

Just like last time, it's a first draft that I'm writing with intent of mining it for something to update my profile with later on. Similar to last time, I'm doing this with very little sleep, so please be kind.

3. When have you felt like a misfit or outsider? What have you had to reject or give-up in order
to follow your path?

When haven't I felt like an outsider? Now that I ask myself this question, the first time I didn't feel completely disconnected from the flow of people in the world was when I found yarn people. Yarn people are amazingly diverse. I love them for it!

With yarn people it's all about the small details creating a greater purpose. Just as individual stitches go together to make a sweater, so do individual people gather together to create the most amazing things. Be it the vast body of knowledge at Ravelry, the community at my local yarn store, or what Yarn Harlot said about Doctors Without Boarders.

Yarn people are seldom judgemental of each other. Yarn people realize that every kind of thread has a purpose that it is good at, and even that lonely ball of yarn can find comfort in someone's stash.

Attention to detail is necessary in yarn craft. A sweater is made of thousands upon thousands of stitches, but just one out of place, can spoil the look of the entire garment. A woven blanket can have enough threads in it to boggle the mind, yet each one has to be precise. A treadle error, a threading mistake... A weaver notices these things.

Before I found yarn people, I worried that I wasn't made to be in this world. Interacting with people face to face has always been awkward for me. Although I try not to show it, but I am terribly shy. I've let more than one friendship laps out of my fear of using the telephone.

I see my future self, growing old on a farm, with the chickens, sheep, and growing fresh vegetables for some small restaurant. Hopefully selling enough yarn on the internet to get the roof repaired by winter.

All the knowledge I collect over the years like how to repair a typewriter or manual sewing machine, how to grow and preserve foods, how to cook on a wood stove - I often think that all these things I love to learn would only prove useful if the world as we know it were really to come to an end. You know, if the zombies attack, it might prove useful, but otherwise - it's really all that I'm good at in this world, and that makes me feel rather like a useless outsider at times.

4. Are you in service to something larger than yourself? How would you describe this calling?
Who are you here to serve? Get specific.

I don't know how to answer this one.

The chickens think I'm in their service. The earth wants tilling, the plants watering, the food cooking. But is tilling the land a 'calling'?

When asked my religion, I often tell people that I'm a Whole Wheat Pastafarian. It's not actually a joke, even though I say it in a light tone. But people think I'm making fun or making light of religion. But I'm really not. I wasn't raised with religion. I'm not agnostic, atheist, or religious in any way - to be one of those things you have to have some relationship to the divine. Even an atheist exists in contradiction to God. That's a kind of relationship. I've never had religion in my life, and I'm absolutely fascinated by the idea of how much improved the world must look for those who do feel a connection to a divine force.

I'm actually very fond of the basic ideas behind Pastafarianism , but I would love for it to go a bit further. Thus the Whole Wheat part. Pastafarian deity basically looks like pasta. Pasta is food. Growing food in a way that is sustainable is the closest you can get to the divine.

So I till the land. I grow vegetables and good things to eat. I make my food simply out of basic ingredients. The only impact I leave behind on the earth is to improve the fertility of the soil.

I try to do this with every aspect of my life, including crafting - although I'm not 100% there yet with crafts, I'm working towards it steadily.

5. What is the larger mystery or mystery you are trying to solve? The bigger ultimate question
you want to answer? What is about the world you want to put back into order?

Why are you asking me such difficult questions!?

mystery...question...solve...answer...put back into order?

To put back into order... there is something there that resonates.

I've met so many people over the years who feel disconnected from their world. They feel that they work all day and yet they don't contribute, they don't make anything. I don't know how common this feeling is outside the people I know, but judging from my sample size, the greater population might be feeling a bit out of sorts with their place in the world.

To paraphrase from an advert: There was a time when people made things by hand, when they took pride in their work. It might be a romantized fiction, but I think there is something to it.

The people I know that work with tangible objects. It might be their day job or their hobby. But these people who create physical tangible things that you can see, touch, taste, smell, and hold in your hands. These people seem to be less lost.

Speaking about lost, the knowledge needed to create tangible things by hand is fading fast. Even with the internet to teach us everything, I constantly find gaps in what the web knows.

Even in people the information is dissipating. How many people cannot tell an apple from a carrot? IT IS SHOCKING! There was a day when everyone knew that mosquito grow in standing water. That leaving the fridge door open while complaining about the electric bill was a stupid idea. They knew how to choose the best pineapple or that storing apple with other fruit will make them go bad quickly.

To make things by hand, to take pride in what you do, to pay attention to quality, to make things that last.

This is what I would like to put to right. I just can't figure out a good way to describe it. Try again when I'm less tired perhaps.

That's me done.
There was a bit of yarn at the beginning, but then it just faded into farming and a rant about people being ignorant and lazy. oh well. Come back to it again in a few days and see if there is anything here for me to use.

Anyone else working through this part of the workbook? Love to see what you wrote.

1 comment:

Josiane said...

When I read the questions about putting things back into order in the world, I knew it would resonate with you. It's so totally what you are doing, in so many ways! You are rescueing knowledge that would otherwise risk getting lost entirely. You are rescueing old tools and putting them back into working order. You are living in a way that is respectful of the Earth and its inhabitants, while so many things in our culture go against that. It may not be the reason why you are doing those things, but the end result is that you are putting a lot of things back into order in our world, and that is wonderful.