Yesterday I celebrated the launch of my next wondrous journey around our glorious sun. It is my 45th birthday and the launch of my 46th circling of the sun. I did many wonderful things with family and friends over the weekend, and on my actual birthday had every intention of starting this blog entry- of opening the flaps of my little circus tent of quilting for you to peek in and see the day in the life of this artist.
However, I had a time-sensitive project I chose to complete first, which grew and grew until it took over the day, getting in the way of this writing.
The project was onerous and annoying, involving seven loads of laundry, and the vacuuming of every nook and cranny on three floors. For the task, I donned a face mask, goggles and gloves and applied a noxious mist to the aforementioned nooks, crannies and a few wide open surfaces.
It mandated the vacation of the premises by every living thing which, because it was Monday, left only myself, two cats and a dog. These beasts don’t yet get along, and were placed in the now heated garage studio together, where I eventually managed to eat my birthday chop chop salad with bacon and chicken on top, with a dog growling on one side of my leg and the larger of the two cats at my other leg, lying low and mewing high. The other cat sat directly behind me under a board where he thought no one could see him. It was quite a party.
Suffice it to say-it wasn’t the way I usually celebrate, and wasn’t the work I usually enjoy, and yet this day, it was the work of this artist. To create a space within which one can work creatively every day, there are times that the days must be taken over by untoward tasks. Does it really matter which day we choose?
This same week, I was also participating in one of those chain-letter facebook challenges in which you post 7 days worth of projects for the world to enjoy. I have such a mixed relationship with these. I love seeing the work of others, love to get my own work out into the world, and yet struggle to have only slices recognized. Is the work of flea removal somehow less important or valuable to the world than a paper-pieced honeybee image fit into a hexagonally bound micro wall quilt? My solution has been to share quilt work, but also costumes, cooking projects, and today- it will be this reflection on DIY pest management projects.
When I told folks how I spent my birthday- deep cleaning my house to minimize a pest infestation, folks acted with a bit of shock or dismay. I decided to embrace the moment- the day. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, and the choice I’d made (because really-I probably could have done it on Wednesday, but I wanted the spray to coincide as closely as possible with the topical application, which was last week…), I found a way to re-frame. I received this beautiful (cheesy) and inspiring (but perhaps overdone) birthday blessing from a cousin out in Colorado, and I read it on my phone, while sitting in the garage surrounded by my loved ones. (Remember the snarling pets?) It helped me remember to value all work.
May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the work you do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light and renewal to those who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.
May the day never burden.
May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams, possibilities and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered and protected.
May your soul calm, console and renew you.
~A blessing from the book: Anam Cara – A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O’Donohue
It resonated and made me recall that with the work of my deep clean, my cat would be happier and less scratchy. That he could once again sleep on this little quilt I made him, without me snagging it from under him for washing every other day. That the time I was putting in was just that. And so is the time I’m putting in traveling the sun. Not more special or less special- but either way, worthy of recognition and note.
What are ways that you create a space to work in? What are the projects you have developed that go unrecognized but still add value to your life and to that of those around you? And don’t you think the photo of Ramona getting some love from the Heating installer team is precious?
I’d love to hear- Leave a comment below!