I’ve been in a creative depression for the past month or so. About six weeks ago I lost a very important person to me. She was/is my artistic mentor in life and she lost an extremely short battle with uterine cancer. When I say short, I mean really short. She was diagnosed and within two weeks was gone. I hadn’t even had enough time to wrap my head around the situation to be supportive like I should/could have been before she was gone.
For the vast majority of my life she has been a part of it. She taught me to embroider many years ago. The things she could embroider still makes me jealous, her talent really was unmatched. She taught me to sew. She shared a love for medieval textiles and fashion. I have never met anyone who was as knowledgeable in fibers as she was. She is the reason I can answer all the “crazy” and out there questions you guys ask me about in our Facebook group. I’ve spent so many hours of my life just listening and absorbing information from her.
(The above image was taken at an an event for the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) which is a society that is dedicated and focused on researching and re-creating pre-17th-century Europe for educational purposes.)
And now she’s gone and I find myself in a situation I’ve never been in before. I have had to deal with a great deal of death in my life. I’ve lost two brothers tragically, more friends than I can count and both of my grandmothers. My maternal grandmother passed two years ago and I am still having difficulty with it as she is the only person that I’ve lost who has literally been there every day of my life. Even if I didn’t speak to her she was there and I knew she was there. In the past of course the loss effected me but I have never not been able to push past it. I can’t seem to force myself to push past this. I don’t know if it’s because I am getting older or if my hormones are changing or what is going on with me truth be told.
I was still filming Arizona when my mentor passed so as I had an obligation I pushed through. I am in the middle of filming a tutorial that a lot of you are waiting on and I am getting through it but it isn’t easy. Every time I pick up my hook I have a lump in my throat, truly a lump. I can’t swallow and while reviewing my most recent footage I can tell, I’m sure none of you will be able to but I suppose because I know me I can tell. Still, I am pushing through and fulfilling my obligation to the designer but I can’t make myself do anything else. I have a laundry list of things that need to be filmed. Some are stitches/methods that have been requested by you all others are things that I have seen around and know that I could explain them in a simpler way for all of you to learn easier. I have people lined up to purchase StyleCraft pegs and have everything for them (finally, what a fiasco that was) but I can’t force myself to sit down and make them. I have a blanket I’ve agreed to test sitting there with a few other WIPS. Honestly, my blacklog of “to do” things is ridiculous at this point.
Crochet has always been the thing that centers me. Calms me down. Helps me to destress. I’ve always been an advocate for the physical and mental health benefits of crochet. However, what does one do when their “go to” feel better thing doesn’t make them feel better? What do you do when the thing you love makes you cry?
I am not the type of depressed where I lay in bed sleeping for the majority of the day or the kind where you only realize you need a shower when your cats won’t love on you. I’m just sad. My heart and soul just … hurts. I know that she would absolutely want me to continue to make beautiful things. I know without a doubt that she would want and encourage me to continue my journey of educating and promoting art. Each time I sit down to crochet I say this over and over to myself. But it doesn’t help. I still end up crying or nearly choking because of the lump in my throat.
Some of you have sent me messages on Facebook, emailed me or left subtle reminders in the comments on my YouTube videos of things that I have said I would film for you or talk about. I see you, I hear you and I do plan to still. I am just getting at it a bit slower right now while I try to figure a way out of the grief. As I said, it’s a strange place for me to be and completely uncharted territory. I appreciate your patience with me, truly I do.
The current tutorial in process is a shawl that will be completely finished with testing very soon. So I’ll be able to finish that and it will be uploaded on YouTube when the designer decides a release date. So please don’t take this post as an “I’m going to be out of pocket for an unknown amount of time” post because it isn’t. I am still planning to film tutorials. I am still planning to continue taking on pattern tutorials as the designers ask me to. It’s just an explanation of why things are coming from me slower and why I haven’t been as active here or in my Facebook Group. I am also hoping that my “saying it out loud” will help me push through this. Couldn’t hurt right?
Disclaimer: The first image used in this blog post is a painting by Egyptian artist Karolos Safwat called “First Day in Heaven.” You can follow him on Facebook here.