Invisibility

Joel’s photo got me thinking about the emotional state I’ve been in this month. I wrapped up a big, difficult project at the end of December, and the emotional fall-out surprised me. It wasn’t a writing project, but a life-project, involving the care of an elderly relative. At the end of it, her situation was more secure than it had been in months, even years, and I hadn’t realized how much emotional energy it was taking to carry the management of it all.

Basket weavingSo I began a kind of hibernation. I hardly went out, I didn’t post here, and I dealt with long-neglected tasks of my own to try to get my house in better order. Writing, like breathing, was part of the daily routine, but it wasn’t the creative outlet that really fed me. Instead, I wove a basket. I’d learned the craft, using clothesline and yarn, over ten years ago, but I lost interest (and time) partway through my second basket then. Now, I had a project in mind, and going to the store to buy beautiful colors of yarn was balm for my soul.

Basket by Laura K. DealOften, as I wove, I sat with Smoke, the ancient cat who came into my life from my elderly relative. Smoke is happy to purr if I sit beside and give her a pat from time to time, and the purring and repetitive weaving soothed me. I thought a lot about the things I hope to accomplish, the ways in which life is always changing, the blessings that I often take for granted. I am grateful to have had the time to be invisible to the greater world for a time and to touch into the core of who I am again. Weaving the basket felt like weaving the strands of myself together again.

And then, as if to punctuate the month, I got sick. It was one of those things that knocks you flat for a couple of days and then you re-enter the world as fragile as a new butterfly with damp wings, unsteady on your feet and light-headed. It felt a little like a shamanic transition, and I’m still not certain my wings are dry, but I’m ready to step back into the world, at least a little bit.

6 comments to Invisibility

  • kim

    What a wonderful example of self-care, Laura. Your basket is colorful and lovely, your time with Smoke was an extraordinary way to be with your thoughts and feelings around the elder she lived with, and you got some time to mend and weave, to make whole again. Thank you for sharing this because it helps me/us to remember we can do that for ourselves as well.

  • Kay Gschwind

    Yes, thanks for sharing. As Kim says, it is so helpful to hear someone else describe such times in their lives, to hear how it impacted them, and how they dealt with it. I am especially touched by the metaphor of returning to a neglected skill, basket weaving, and finding solace and renewal in it. Very inspiring post.

  • Jane B.

    What a beautiful post. I think I’ll just go away quietly and think about it a bit. Certainly it deserves thought. Thank you.

  • Karen Robinson

    This is really beautiful, the basket, the writing, and the insights. I’m noticing the jewel-like stone on the basket, and how it echoes the colors of the yarn. I wonder if you want to say anything about it, or if it is a private thing.

  • Laura Deal

    Thanks, my friends. Karen, the stone on the basket is just the final decoration, not full of private meaning. I actually pulled out half a dozen beads from my collection that I liked with the colors of the yarn, and had a design in mind that included all of them, but decided I liked the simplicity of the single accent instead. Just listening to that intuitive voice! This basket will be used in dream groups and writing circles, I hope.

  • Joel Jackson

    Like a colorful basket, once hidden in skeins of yarn, it’s good to see the imago of Laura Deal again emerging from invisibility, her temporary chrysalis.

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