Monday, April 20, 2015

The Secret Architecture of Hearts

The Secret Architecture Of Her Heart
Original mixed media collage by Crowgirl.
It's been a busy spring! I've been making art, working on decluttering, beginning the spring cleaning, riding my bike, making various things, sewing, and more. Lately I've found the acts and arts of various handcrafts to be particularly satisfying. Nalbinding a pair of socks, hand-stitching a leather journal, making wee felt pincushions – all are wonderfully fun.

Hand-stitched journal made with scrap leather from Oregon Leather,
linen thread, Strathmore drawing paper from Oregon Art Supply.
Both Barret and I are working on various projects, and so our living room is something of a glorious mess at the moment. A variety of yarns, wool felt, wool fleece, leather scraps and related tools, stacks of paper, jars of pens, my sewing box, my knitting basket, cookbooks stacked everywhere promiscuously! It's not the serene space I aspire to, but so much making-in-progress is satisfying in its own way.

My sense of domesticity comes and goes. For me, there's all kinds of gender baggage around the various domestic arts. But there is something about a mindfully organized home, well-cared for, filled with thoughtfully chosen things, stocked with books and tea, that creates a sense of refuge – a haven from the outside world, a world we create from the secret architecture of our hearts. We live in a busy world where a lot of us struggle with making a living though, and there isn't always time to cook from scratch or do a perfect job of tidying.

In my most recent struggles with decluttering and spring cleaning, this bit from "Always Coming Home" by Ursula K. LeGuin has been inspiring me:

"A bright imagination, a clear intellect, warmth, readiness, magnanimity, grace, and ease are wanted in the practices of gardening, farming, sharing food, caring for animals, cure, care, healing, and comforting, the arts of making order and cleanliness where people live and work, all dancing and delightful exercises, and all the arts and practices of making music, of speaking, of writing, and of reading aloud or socially."

Aww yeah. That certainly seems like part of the blueprint for being a wise and purposeful adult to me.