I don’t know about you, but for the last few weeks, I’ve been in a bit of a funk. On the one hand, this quarantine is good in order to flatten the curve of infections, reduce the number of people in the hospitals, and keep our healthcare workers safe. On the other hand, my husband is out of work, he hasn’t received unemployment yet (it’s been 4 weeks,) and I’m working OT (luckily from home) to try to make up for some of the missing income. And yet I know that we are far better off than many people. All of which put me into some kind of funk. I haven’t felt like writing or doodling or anything. I wonder if you’re feeling the same? If so, I think it’s time to reignite our creativity!
What to do? I’ve tried reading. Both fiction and nonfiction. I have two unfinished books. Blog posts? Lately, they’ve been reworked older posts that just needed an update for today’s world. All have provided important information, but I don’t feel like I’ve stretched my creative muscles that much.
I’m seeing all these people posting their creative projects, jealous that they have the time to focus on something new. People gardening, crafting, writing, snuggling on couches reading. And yet I can’t. I’ve tried. I pull out my Kindle App at lunchtime and try to read. It’s something I always do at work. Now, I just want to nap.
But then this week, my husband pulled a box out of our storage bin and behind it, I saw one that held yarn, a crochet hook, and knitting needles. Mind you, I can’t do either. But I try. My Aunt Flor tried to teach me to knit when I was a child. One ugly hat and scarf later and I was done. Never picked up knitting needles again. Although, a couple of years ago, I bought a beginner kit with yarn and fat needles. Never opened, but it was still there in that bin.
I also found several skeins of yarn and a crochet hook. My sister Joni tried to teach me to crochet. It didn’t stick, but I keep trying. I get why she liked it. There is something soothing about it. I have never progressed beyond an ugly chain stitch. But there I was with yarn and hook trying to lay down a flat line. When that didn’t work, I took a skein of yarn and rolled it into a ball.
Rolling the yarn was a soothing, non-thinking task. I did it while on the phone. I could talk and roll at the same time. I was reminded of my sister and the first time she tried to teach me to crochet. I was going into my third month of pregnancy and some heavy bleeding landed me in the hospital for an overnight and then strict bed rest orders for a week.
Joni came over with crochet hooks, yarn, and of course, some books. She patiently showed me the chain stitch and sat with me all afternoon. When she left, I started reading the books she brought me. Sure, I’d try to chain some more, but back then, in my 20’s, I had no patience. The stitches weren’t uniform, holes were ensured, and frustration grew. So I’d unravel everything and start reading. Then I’d try again, get frustrated, unravel, and read some more.
I kept working on the same two rows, over and over again. Until I just stopped. Over the years, I’d take it out and try it again. Sometimes with Joni, other times, by myself. I’d marvel at the things she could create with a hook and some yarn. Once, she even tried knitting and made me the perfect oversize sweater. I still have it, here in Florida.
And so I rolled. And when I was done rolling, I pulled out that yarn and started another chain stitch. This time I’m 6 lines in and haven’t pulled it out yet. Maybe, that’s a good sign for my writing? We’ll see.
Are you in the same kind of funk? What have you tried to reignite your creativity?