Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Creative Juices

I made this.

No, really, I just made this pouch tonight in a 2-hour introductory sewing class. Inspired by some of my crafty friends, I thought I might try sewing again. I have a pretty decent sewing machine that my mom left to me and I took a beginning class years ago. But that project was much more ambitious than this one—I think it was a top (with sleeves!) and pants made out of stretchy knit fabric. Not so easy for a beginner and no quick, finished product to feel a sense of accomplishment that makes you want to keep going (oof, I sound like I’m channeling Amy Chua- yikes). So I didn’t keep it up. But my cute little lined drawstring pouch (in Hudson’s colors, in case you didn’t notice) has got me thirsting for more. Another class or two and lots of practice and maybe I can solve my own problem about boys’ clothes being ridiculously drab and pedestrian (Melissa T., I’m looking at you for guidance here).

It’s been a weird several days. Probably the least I’ve written on the blog (when not on vacation) since I started it. And that’s hard. I look at January and think, “I only wrote 16 posts?” In the past, I’ve almost felt bad about these periods where I don’t write as often, as if I’m somehow not doing right by my sweet girl. But I’ve started to recover from that kind of silly thinking. As if on the days I’m not writing here, I’m not thinking about her almost constantly, not thinking about all the sad days behind and ahead of us and all the happy days behind and ahead of us, not thinking about the immense challenge that lies in ahead as we continue to learn to live without Hudson and parent her siblings in her absence and in our grief. Of course I am.

I have struggled so much in the past several months with what it means to have these more peaceful days, these days where the words don’t just pour out of me by sheer force of necessity. But I am trying hard (still) to come to terms with that. I am working hard to find outlets for the little bits of focused (and sometimes creative) energy that hit me here and there, partly because it helps me and partly because it is another way to honor Hudson, another way to cherish what is. 

The other weekend, we had some friends over for brunch. I love brunch and I have this great new cookbook full of brunch recipes that I wanted to try. I made a yummy strata from a recipe and then improvised on some blueberry baked apples, which also turned out great. It felt so good both to do something I had forgotten that I loved and to provide some nourishment to others, after having been on the receiving end of so much nourishment, physical and otherwise, for such a long time. But I also nourished myself, something else I’d pretty much forgotten how to do. Sometimes it’s almost too easy to give in to the grief and the sadness and just wallow. Obviously, I need room and space for that (and I’ve taken it, quite liberally, whenever I’ve needed it), but as we inch closer and closer to the birth of another child, I feel the need to begin exercising muscles that have almost atrophied for lack of use, especially my creative muscles. Being a mom is so often about being creative, being willing and able to try something new when all your tried and true tricks fail. So I guess by trying to fire up my creative juices, I am not only continuing to heal myself, but I am also preparing for the hard work of mothering an infant (and later a toddler) again.

I feel not unlike those times I begin exercising after a long hiatus (yet another thing I need to be doing more of): sore, a bit bewildered, but also a little exhilarated and ready for more.

It feels good.


  1. Your light is shining through in this post Mandy.. I often wonder if we can see that in our own words, or if we only realize it when it is reflected back upon us.
    What you said here was just perfect for me tonight.. for so many reasons.
    "I’m not thinking about her almost constantly, not thinking about all the sad days behind and ahead of us and all the happy days behind and ahead of us"
    Thank you mamma...

  2. Good job Subha ! I dont know how you take out time to do all the activities I love your photography. Great Job!

  3. A-W-E-S-O-M-E.


  4. Honoring you for being where you are... and accepting moments of joy... and tapping into your source... and for knowing that tapping into your source and experiencing moments such as this are part of your path forward in coping with the joys and pains to come. Peace and love and Light,

  5. I am so thankful that your mind and heart are finding some ways to heal. I find making things so incredibly theraputic-- it's very Donna Reid-ish, I guess, but what is more loving that dreaming up, making, and gifting your little one with a tangible symbol your love and time? Make yourself familiar with the blanket stitch on your machine, and a product called WonderUnder, and Jackson's wardrobe will become as expansive as your imagination! Enjoy this time of healing.

  6. You are doing so well -- I don't even have the words to tell you how amazing you are......truly! (((hugs))) Mariann

  7. So happy you are seeing some light at the end of this dark tunnel. Good job on the sewing. :)
    xo, Olivia

  8. I love the tote you made. Of course the colors and pattern are beautiful. As Nemo says, "just keep swimming". We would love to enjoy brunch with you and Ed. Please let me know some good dates to pull it off. Missing You...Renee P.

  9. So happy reading this. And I love the little bag. So sweet, both the bag and the post.

  10. What Nina said.

  11. What a wonderful thing to channel your sweet girl in such a creative way! And flexing those muscles that have atrophied will hopefully spark new and unexpected ways to connect with Hudson...

  12. How beautiful your creative juices are and how wonderful that they are revealing themselves to you again. Relish in the peace and contentment you're feeling. Wonderful!

  13. I love this post.
    I found some really cute boy clothes at Janie and Jack - a little pricey but really cute. It's worth checking out!

  14. This post gave me a big smile!!