There is a sense in which my hooky adventures have an obvious link to the four seasons of the year: hearts at Valentine's Day and eggs at Easter for Spring, roses to attach to hair-clips for Summer, fall leaf colours in a jar-jacket for an Autumn candle, snowflakes for a Christmas tree garland in Winter etc etc
But there is a different kind of seasonality at work as well. The kind of seasonality I have in mind comes from Ecclesiastes:
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace."
Of course the writer is thinking about the big picture of how human beings handle Life but actually a lot of what he says applies in quite an important way to the Creative Life. I find it quite a liberating approach.
Think about it and you may see what I mean. Of course you may decide I am completely off my head - it's up to you!
A time to be born and a time to die... there are times when our creative energies emerge from dormancy and a time when they can go dead. Certain periods of our lives are more creative than others because we have more time or space to be creative. Times when work or childcare becomes all-consuming can leave little room for any creative muse to breathe but at other times, windows of opportunity offer themselves and new life emerges, sometimes when we least expect it. Birth and death in this sense are not one-off events but recurring ones for the creative soul.
A time to plant and a time to uproot ... creative life is often about investing in new skills, nurturing and growing them. Sometimes it can also be about uprooting fears, diffidence or inhibitions that prevent us from pursuing something or experimenting. Both are important.
A time to kill and a time to heal ... sometimes we may need to "kill off" an idea that simply won't fly or come to terms with one that we thought we had run aground with and put it back on the road. Often this is a process that others' perspectives can help with. The friend round the corner or in blogland whose opinion can be trusted, who tells me that those colours I'm fixated on really don't work together or the one who rescues what seems like an irretrievable disaster with a helping hand or emergency, life-saving tip.
A time to tear down and a time to build ... as we all know, there are times when things just have to be unravelled or frogged but there are also times of reconstruction and sometimes it's those projects that have involved the heartache of undoing and redoing that turn out best in the end.
A time to weep and a time to laugh ... closely related in my creative life I find! That aaaargh moment when I find I've read the pattern all wrong or something has gone haywire. My instinct may be initially to cry with disappointment or vexation but I usually end up seeing the funny side and moving on. (See my pile of seaweed scarf!!)
A time to mourn and a time to dance ... that time when we sadly come to terms with the fact that certain things are beyond us (at the moment) but also that time of sheer delight when we successfully acquire a new skill or solve a problem; the ending of a happy project can trigger both emotions - sadness that something we've enjoyed doing A Lot has come to an end and irrepressible, effervescent fizzing at a Proudly Finished Object!
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them ... there are times when we find ourselves being the ones helping others because we have more experience or skill or whatever and there are equal and opposite times when we draw on the experience or expertise of others. All good.
A time to embrace and a time to refrain ... there are times when for whatever reason we plunge into the unknown, perhaps we read a book on a new technique or research one on YouTube or we sign up for a course to improve an existing skill or learn a completely new one but there are also times when this is too much to take on and our instinct and preference is to stick to what we know and are comfortable with. All good again.
A time to search and a time to throw away ... most creative people have times when they hunt out new designs, materials or ideas and times when clearing out is the name of the game in order to make way for fresh projects or new acquisitions of essential stock-in-trade, in other words yarn-buying! What's stash-busting for otherwise?!
A time to tear and a time to mend ... Anyone torn up an idea and started all over again periodically? I am sure I am not alone in having had what seemed a good idea on paper that just didn't work in practice and had to be ditched. And anyone who has made something special that has been well-used and well-loved will happily take up a mending needle if it needs repair even if they wouldn't mend bog-standard M&S socks (as I won't)!
A time to be silent and a time to speak ... I find there are times when I need to be quiet and just contemplate a project especially one where a significant colour choice has to be made that will potentially make or break a project but there are also times when I need to bounce ideas around with others and talk about them to get clarity.
A time to love and a time to hate ... projects that we instinctively love? Of course there are! Where everything just works - colour, pattern, yarn, our own abilities in synch with what's needed - yayyyy! But there are also those that just go against the grain the whole way - the pattern is obscure or doesn't work out how we think it will, the yarn isn't as nice a colour or texture as we hoped, we don't have the skills quite to pull this off without a lot of cursing and struggling : ( Anyone been here? Well, I have!
A time for war and a time for peace ... there are times of both for the crocheter or knitter - times when actually we decide we will do battle with an obstacle we have encountered and won't be beaten by it and times when things are calmer and we go peacefully along, adding row after row to our WIP which happily and quietly grows under our fingers, while we chat with other like-minded souls or are happily absorbed in a solitary world of our own.
And just as with the big picture of life "There is a time for everything." And it is all good, or as the writer of Ecclesiastes more poetically puts it, it is all "beautiful in its time".
Happy Hooking or Knitting, whatever season you are in at the moment!