The Zombies Ate My Brains

Rescuing what might remain of the grey matter.

Scratch the Itch

Paris Ontario snowfall Jan 1 2008

Spring? Yoo-hoo? Spring? You there?

This interminable winter, in spite of the record-breaking cold, will go down in my books as a winner. Yes, in spite of the pain-in-the-ass polar vortex. In spite of the fact that it is almost April and we have snow drifts up to my knees. (Yesterday I came across this funny: Spring forward? How frickin’ far forward did it go?)

The reason this winter is a winner?  It is before your eyes. This blog, and the creative exercise required to maintain it. I have finally found a pastime, a hobby, something that scratches the itch. More importantly, something that is winter-proof.

***

1977-ish. In my old lady rocker wearing my old lady sweater vest. The knitting is a prop. It's Mom's.

1977-ish. In my old lady rocker wearing my old lady sweater vest. The knitting is a prop. It’s Mom’s.

I’ve always had plenty of options as regards hobbies. Mom taught me to knit and crotchet, and how to sew. I dabbled in needlepoint and embroidery, too. For a while, rug-hooking was all the rage, then teddy bears, then quilting.

During my thirties, I tried my hand at calligraphy and enjoyed it enough to enroll in “Advertising Art” at college. There I learned that I had the technical skills required to reproduce a reasonable image using ink, watercolour, pastel. I dropped out after the first year when I realized that while I might have the technical chops, I didn’t have an ounce creativity. My work was less than inspired.

I looked around at all of the beautiful works my friends created and felt the urge to be artistic like them. But nothing I tried was satisfying, neither performance nor visual art. I decided that I was born without creative capacity.

Then I traveled to England in the spring of 1989 and found gardening. Back home I immediately tucked into the backyard. No corner was too small, too rocky, nor too shady. My motto at the time was “Have Trowel, Will Transplant.” Over the years and the various moves, I converted lawns into gardens replacing grass with roses and herbs and vegetable plots. I was in my element, at last.

Except, what to do with winter? I knew by now that arts and crafts were not worth the effort or expense. I had enough unfinished projects as proof. I had also learned that I prefer contemplative pastimes on my own, so group activities were not a solution. Computer games to the rescue!

The front perennial bed. Hostas are nice and easy to care for. Just the ticket, these days.

The front perennial bed. Hostas are nice and easy to care for. Just the ticket, these days.

Years passed, bodies aged, I got tired of putting down roots (literally and figuratively) only to have to relocate yet again. So much so, that I have lost the desire to potter in my yard. I still keep a small veggie patch and a perennial border or two, but I no longer get the twitch of excitement about buds and shoots and scents. More computer games, this time year round.

Fortunately, Reiner’s mineral collecting hobby has some appeal for me. Enough that I’ve taken up photography and have begun to catalog the collection. Mineral collecting is a great pastime that can be enjoyed year round. But my itch to create is not yet satisfied.

What about a blog about minerals? I drafted a couple of versions and for whatever reason, I wasn’t ready to publish. Partly because minerals is Reiner’s thing, not mine. Partly because I hadn’t found my voice, maybe? I don’t know, it’s hard to nail down, to articulate.

Then, there was January 1, 2014. New Year’s resolutions and all that. Time to kick the computer game habit. This time, my resolution stuck, and I have no idea why now and not before.

Whatever the reason, I am delighted to say that this winter has sped by. I also want to say,

… thank you, my blogging friends, for the opportunity to engage with you on this site. I deeply appreciate the chance to learn, to converse, and to create in a way that is meaningful and fundamentally very, very satisfying.

 

***   ***   ***   ***   ***

Inspired by Margaret Rose Signer and her post

MY FAKE MEMBERSHIP OF THE ART WORLD

 “I’m a wannabe artistic person, without more than, oh,

possibly one of the smaller bones in my left hand by way of artistic merit, myself.”

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Categories: Blog Blog Blog, It's a Hobby

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15 replies

  1. Maggie,

    Your creative endeavors in blogging have been a boon not only to you but to all who have the pleasure of following you. I’m actually quite surprised that you are still so new to blogging. I was under the impression you’d been doing this for at least several years. You really are creative, not just in a tiny bone of your left hand!

    As for why this pass time has stuck, I have a theory: the feedback, often instantaneous. It’s hard to keep pursuing something without some positive encouragement. In fact, I think the feedback can become quite addictive (at least for me!). [wipes drool from mouth and refreshes Stats page]

    As always, thanks for sharing! I look forward to many more enjoyable posts from you.

    -Jessica

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  2. You are such a blessing, Jessica! I have to confess that I wish I was a fraction as eloquent in my comments on your blog as you are on mine, and elsewhere where I see your avatar.
    As for your theory, it makes absolute sense! Of course! Feedback, engagement. And those lovely statistics. Not to mention the carrot of the Freshly Pressed.

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  3. However you got here, I’m glad you did!

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  4. The feeling is mutual! Nice post Maggie.

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  5. Cripes! [M-R falls silent … but simply has, eventually, to regain her voice]
    There I was, reading away and enjoying it (as you do, when reading M. Wilson posts), and being able to relate strongly to everything written about the pleasure wrought through this marvellous medium …
    When I saw me own name before me eyes !
    Took me a while to make the connection, to be honest, Maggie …but when I did, I laughed ! 😀 Another big dob of pleasure to think that a typically idiotic statement from me gave rise to your posting on this topic … Thanks for that, me old …

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  6. Dear Maggie,
    I’m so pleased you have found your niche. I love reading your posts and relate to your love of writing and gardening. Your Hostas look so healthy! Loved seeing you in the 1970s too! This is an amazing medium and quite addictive, so look forward to getting to know you even better!

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    • Thank you Barbara – if you’ve got ears (or eyes, in this case) I’ve got stories! As for the hostas – they eventually become riddled with holes due to slugs, slimy bstrds. But I garden organically and the hostas keep coming back year after year, so if it ain’t broke, I don’t fix!

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  7. Well Maggie, I think your space is great – and as someone said, it’s surprising that you haven’t been blogging all that long, because there is a feeling, in my opinion, that your blog resonates a certain “maturity” and presence, as if you are sure and certain of your works and posts – it’s a “sound feeling” and I’m glad that you have connected here – and I hope you continue to play along in the blog world. I’m enjoying my stop-ins so much 🙂

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