A Beginning

A Fierce Practice 9 11 17

Step One: Go HERE to see all the photos of this amazing poem.

1. Discover Squeezebox Press thanks to Miss P (Of course, I snooped around and discovered that Emma is delightful  and the story behind her little press is amazing and inspiring.)
2. Admire broadside of "A Beginning" by Carl Adamshick for the poem, the beauty of the print, and the story circling it all (read the fine print!)
3. Joyfully splurge on purchase of print (even though you do not have a house to hang it in yet)
4. & ask permission to use poem as a quote here
5. Receive permission and broadside
6. Collect goldenrod and compassplant and ox eye sunflower to attempt natural dye
7. Attempt alchemy (aka, boil flowers and be a weirdo)
8. Wait
9. Wonder
10. Notice how tender and strong paper is when wet
11. Wait for things to dry
12. Fall in love with dried flower petals stuck to paper (so bold and delicate simultaneously)
13. Come to terms with fact that one day project will actually become 7 (or 8 or 9) day project
14. Recognize this is truth for quote projects and house projects and life projects
15. Decide one library due date card just isn't big enough
16. Wait more, for Make Time
17. Pull the sewing machine off the shed shelf at Make Time and stitch dyed cards into a blanket
18. Wait more. For sufficient time to lay it all out and take photos
19. Stop rushing it (it will come together when it's supposed to)
20. Clear out secret special moment to arrange cards, poem words & sunshine (Make the time even though Mom and Dad and Grandma and the dogs are in the car and ready to go - because NOW is absolutely the moment.)

If I had done this all in one day, I would have a tiny yellowed card with a handwritten version of Carl Adamshick's poem squished into four lines. The waiting (for water to boil, for dye to take, for paper to dry, to carve out a chunk of time) all those pockets of waiting or delay or whatever-you-want-to-call-them were actually beautiful little tide pools of inspiration. For expanding. For allowing time. For thinking through. For thinking outside. I am trying to trust the slow, and that the waiting is not a pause or a slow down - it's just the built in time for learning. 

(Also, I realized my "Why Rush?" is because I falsely believe that I can get ahead of all this work. I live in this illusion that when I cross-off that last thing on the to-do list that I will actually be done and there will be moments and stretches of time with nothing to do because I have done all the things on the list!!! If course it doesn't work that way. I'm almost 37 and there has NEVER been a time when the do-to list is done and then life becomes an empty space. (Except maybe after exams in high school or college.) A to-do list abhors a vacuum. My rushing to get things done is an illusion. It's under false pretenses. I want to practice living with the to-do's and becoming friends with them, and enjoying their company as I slowly and methodically work through them. (Hello! Howdy-do Mr. To-Do?) And to get comfortable building in time for nothing (or relaxing) and knowing I can clear the way for it even when the to-do list is chock-full. That I can feel comfortable exhaling and grabbing a book or taking a nap (or just plain going to bed) even when the list is full because I know that to-do will always exist and I am allowed to put everything down and just chill the fuck out or slow down for a while.