Post 1800: On Being a Maker on the Prowl for that which Engages the Whole Soul
This post right here is quite a milestone: it marks 1800 posts here on Art Predator. With each one averaging 1000 words, that adds up to 1,800,000 or more total, right? And when you add the pages, well that’s about 2 million words! Wow!
If 100,000 words equals a 400 page book, then that means I’ve written the equivalent of 18-20 books since I started this blog back in November 2007 nearly ten years ago. That’s quite a lot.
Thank you for being a reader and a subscriber: for taking this journey with me as I’ve been on the prowl for that which engages the whole soul… from Burning Man to ecopsychology to politics to environmental problem solving and more.
In the coming year, I expect to continue offering more of the same: more about Lucidity, Coachella and Burning Man, more politics, more environmental activism, and more about food and wine too!
Sometimes I wonder why I do what I do. Why do I spend so much time and energy and creativity blogging? Why do I keep doing this?
Sure it’s fun to get wine samples. (Okay I LOVE getting wine samples!) But I spend so much time on them, between the tasting (okay no problems with the time spent tasting) but taking notes, pairing the wines with food, researching the wines, then writing about them, uploading the photos etc etc etc that I could just get another job and buy the wine!
So there has to be more to it. And I don’t get paid anything for this blog, for Art Predator.
So why do I do it?
“1. They’ve never made anything by hand themselves.
For people who’ve never made something by hand, basically, the only way they’ve ever gotten something is by purchasing it. Let that sink in for a moment; this one is deep, with all kinds of implications. Imagine living in a world where you have to buy every single thing you want; where you can’t just make something; and where everything, by extension, must be for sale.”
“2. They’ve never met anyone who makes anything with fiber, yarn, or fabric.”
The article states that “53 million women know how to knit, crochet, or both… it’s likely more people in the USA had the capacity to make a pussyhat, than voted for Trump (61 million).”
“3. They don’t get that makers make stuff to make ourselves feel better.”
Some people, the article states, deal with “stress and worry by trying to find something constructive to do with our hands… I don’t really know how people deal and process if they can’t make things with their hands as a coping mechanism.”
“4. They have no idea how big a project a hat is — or isn’t.”
A pussy hat is “the kind of easy that makes experienced crafters roll their eyes and say “I can’t believe I’m knitting another one of these things,” and still others make modifications and go their own route.” I’m not much of a seamstress and I don’t even own a sewing machine yet I found myself making a number of rather elaborate reversible hats.
“5. They don’t know any of this stuff because they’ve dismissed everything involving fiber, yarn, or fabric as feminine.”
“6. They’re just not knitworthy.
Although it’s been knitters who use this particular word, the same premise applies everywhere: is this someone who rates the time and effort you’d have to put into making something for them? Will they care for this handmade thing? Will they value it? Will they appreciate it? So, yeah: odds are no knitter (or crocheter, or sewist, or quilter, or… yeah) ever deemed Mr. Cohen (or the others following suit asking where pussyhats come from) to be knit worthy.”
7. Abby finally points out that these hats in the image are crocheted: a fiber art that cannot be automated.
So why did I make pussy hats? Why do I make blog posts? In the end, it’s MAKING that is deeply rewarding. Grappling with words to find the right ones, exploring ideas, making connections between this and that, finding images that speak with the words…
Making something out of nothing, making something that didn’t exist, making something out of your imagination, and seeing it there, a living thing, is meaningful.
Whether it is making a blog post or cookies or a garden or a hat… we humans are makers. We make stuff.
And in troubled times like these, I can make things to help me process the pain. Like the Ventura Beach Rally and Cleanup I am organizing for Sat. Feb. 11; details in blog post number 1801.
And one of the things I can make is this blog. This blog times 1799 posts. Now 1800.
Because making helps me manage “the task of a mature human being…to hold grief in one hand and gratitude in the other” — this process provides me with a way “to allow (my)self to be stretched large by them.”
I also explored the idea of “why blog” here in Post #1538.
Thanks again for reading and subscribing. See you soon!
PS Interestingly, Facebook just reminded me that on this day in 2014 I posted about hitting a blogging milestone also– that was the day I hit 530,000 page views!