August 16, 2017

Think Small: Gestures

It's Tuesday evening as I sit here typing this - whatever it becomes - to be posted tomorrow morning. It was, and continues to be, so bloody humid today, everything is limp. Printer paper and the post are limp. The books I dipped into today, the pages were limp. My clothing is limp. I am limp.

While it may not be the sole reason, the horrid humidity is a contributing factor to my torpor. It's been one of those days when I just can't settle. Can't focus for any extended length of time. The to do list remains undone (which is fine) while I drift listlessly from one book to another, from an email to an article, from reading a poem to jotting in my sketchbook. It's the kind of day where I feel like I've done nothing when in fact I've done many, many small things for short lengths of time.

These small things are what I have slowly - Ever. So. Slowly. - come to value over the Herculean efforts that demand enormous expenditures of time, energy, and resources. Small gestures can have big impact. Such as today, making myself start the next yoni. Not having any idea what it's going to be and, frankly, not feeling like sewing today, I went with the small gesture. A little creativity in my day without a big time or energy commitment.
The hands-on time had to have been less than 15 minutes, yet my sense of fulfillment and accomplishment are huge. Just having dabbled in studio work, for that little bit of time, changed the character of my mood and the nature of my day considerably. (Need I say for the better?) All it took was a small nudge to begin, a small effort, a small gesture of creativity.
As a result, I now have an improved sense of how my day was spent and, once it dries, several lengths of rust dyed linen thread to play with. I still have no idea what the next yoni will look like, but it will probably feature stitches in rust dyed linen. See how one small gesture now expands to influence future gestures, provides direction where there was no map? I suppose we could call it the small gesture ripple effect.

Small is mighty. In all aspects of our lives together on this planet. While I focus on creativity, the lessons I learn and re-learn and re-re-learn again and again through my studio practice apply to just about everything. Here's a delightful and heartwarming story, a real life example of a small gesture with enormous uplifting impact from Elizabeth Gilbert. When the world feels cold and dark and lonely, take heart: Anyone can make their corner of it brighter is well worth the read when you have a small amount of time. Less than 5 minutes will do it.

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