Some changes take a long time, each life itself being a slow progression. Living in a world where only quick results are celebrated it is easy to want to give up, or stall out. Not too far from where I live the ‘Paid Sick Days for All’ coalition took 2 years of hard work to pass real change (both raising the minimum wage, and ending the exemption of food service workers from receiving paid sick days). It is inspiring to see real change when their work could be easily forgotten in the world of constant news cycles and social media memes.
Years ago I kept a blog where I truly tried to write to all of my interests, and aspects. The site LiveJournal provided a service beyond just hosting a page – I was able to filter my posts to audiences (both a blessing and a self censoring curse). I took to twitter as LiveJournal faded, and missed the space I had to write. Specifically I missed linking how a news story, or a march, or a knitting pattern had made me rethink my approach to something else entirely different. I am incredibly lucky(1) in how rich my life is. A song I might hear will encourage me to get up and run before I get started with my day. In turn that run gives me some moments of clarity that allow me to better focus on my job, or remember to answer that email I owed members of a feminist collective.
The whole story behind my internet handle is that I think the idea of transformation is a process to be crafted – ie crafting change. Be it knitting, smelting or alchemy there are hours you have to put in practicing (and failing) before you can come out with one tiny thing that you like. The ‘work’ that I do – at the day job, or the night school, and the local activism – all of it is full of big failures and small successes. They all contain their lessons, and on those rare occasions where I ‘get’ the lesson on the first go, the learning gets easier, and the crafting gets a little more complex. There are times where you still have to tear a project apart and start from the beginning, or just know that it isn’t working and you need to walk away for a while (1/2 of the sweaters I have done).
I am striving now to have what writer T. Thorn Coyle calls an integrated life. I am not ‘balancing work and home’ but instead have a daily life that has home stuff (companionship, cooking, cleaning), work stuff (day job, night school, activisty stuff), physical stuff (running, yoga, dancing), thinky stuff (smart twitter folks, books, and art that all challenge me) and spiritual stuff (meditation, ritual, magick). I realized, in thinking about all of these things that make a day feel wonderfully varied I missed writing. Twitter is great, but limiting – and LiveJournal stagnant, and ill fitting. So I’m creating this new place to write about what is moving me, or giving me pause. Lets see how this works out.
(1) Most luck and blessings are really just nice labels for privilege (for example: buying a home was no act of luck – but a tidal wave of privilege that I rode out).