The media reported a few days of a book about Mother Teresa and her near 50 year struggle with doubt and spiritual crisis during her work in India. Personally, I can imagine that in the climate of death and sickness, anyone would could go through a spiritual crisis and ask question the existence of God. In fact, her jihad (a holy struggle, not war) is something everyone who believes in God seem like a must will go through. I can’t imagine anyone not struggling with this doubt considering with anything that happens in the world. Death, sickness, and wars have existed since time and memorial and human beings struggle with making sense of horrific and terrible things that happens in the world. We can’t explain why does happen such as a mother dealing with the murder of her son, or how a group of people can brutally murder almost a million people in Rwanda.
Events as I mentioned does test one’s faith, and think it’s also to say that nonbelievers struggle with wanting to believe as well, but they can’t ignore with the terrible things that exist in the world. Although Mother Teresa struggled with her doubts, it did not dissuede her from continuing her work with people living in poverty and the sick. Perhaps we are suppose to be good whether or not we are rewarded for it in the end. Perhaps we are to live the best lives possible, developing a connection to others, and work to make this world a better place. Is it possible to being as close to the divine if we only took the time and become just that? Is this heaven on earth and are too blind to see and making an effort to bringing it forth? Just some thoughts I have.
On Sundays, I spend some time listening to NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday with Liane Hansen. A segment from the show caught me ear and attention. This I Believe is a segment where people submit their beliefs in essays. George Bowering, Canada’s first Poet Laureate with his essay called The Holy Life of the Intellect, and his belief of how intellect is the closest thing we have to the divine. He points out a couple of examples of listening to Charlie Parker’s Ornithology, and John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme and describes the piece as “There we are: A fine intellect, a tenor saxophone and a reach for perfect prayer”.
When I think of intellect, I believe creativity is a part intelligent, but yet there seems to be anti-intellect stance in the country. Being intelligent isn’t considered a good thing and diametrically at odds with emotions and religion. For me intelligence invokes curiosity and yes creativity. I believe creativity can create a solution to a problem, a new invention, find an answer to a new mathematical equation. What a person can do with his or her mind, the potential is unlimited, and is there anything wrong with believing that the intellect is the closest thing to the divine.
What the human mind imagines is amazing and sometimes incredible. We see it through art, literature, and music or anything that mind can manifest into the physical. We only have our senses of hearing, feeling, seeing, smelling, and touching, but aids in our intellect to become aware and curious of our surroundings. I believe the divine exists and it surrounds us in our everyday lives, but there are times when we take things for granted such as playing attention to the world around us. Making discoveries, creating and interrupting something that exists. What do you think is closest to the divine?
In my younger years, I use to read magazines like Glamour and Vogue for the latest fashion trends. Of course, I couldn’t afford the clothes that graced the pages of the magazines, but looking at out the fabulous clothes gave me inspiration to find less expensive alternatives. I started reading the magazines again long with the latest fashion magazine Lucky Magazine. Lucky is the bible shopping guide for clothes and accessories and discusses all the fashion trends.
I am not a slave to fashion and style does take precedence of my overall look. Style is important as it makes a statement to the world of who I am. The question becomes who I am and how do I want to present myself before the world. This is the reason why I wanted to learn how to sew, to create clothes that fit my style and expand my color palate as wearing black most of the time doesn’t work for me anymore (particularly when blue is my favorite color). Reading the magazines does give me inspiration to sew as I look at some of the clothes and say to myself that I can make that. So I can make that compolitan wrap dress in purple (not black), and that blue charmeuse blouse.
Over the weekend, I made my first project by sewing an obi belt. It did not call for a pattern and after making two belts (made a mistake with the first one), I learned how to use fusible interface and the importance of taking my time with cutting straight lines, sewing straight lines, and ironing as accurately as possible to achieve clean straight lines. It is the reason for beginning with a belt to cut, sew, and iron and straight lines. The second belt looks better than the first, but practice makes perfect and will sew the belt again. The instructions stated that the project takes an hour, but I think it’s better to take the time and cut the fabric as straight and accurate as possible particularly when a patter is not used for a guide. However, I thought about making a pattern for the belt as a guide for cutting in a straighter line (I’m left-handed and it’s always easy to achieve the straight line).
Upon making the belt, I did have sense of achievement and satisfaction to creating something with my hands, and once I wrap the belt around my waist, not many people will notice the mistakes due to the dark color of the belt. I am wearing something I made. It’s not the first time, I knit plenty of hats and scarves to wear and people love them and so do I. I will continue to sew simple projects such as straight skirts and tote bags to practice sewing straight lines before going to a better project of making coats, dresses, pants, and shirts.
Soho publishing has created great magazines such as Vogue Knitting and Knit Simple for the knitting enthusiast looking for the next cool scarf or sweater. The publishing company has created two recent magazines for knitters under 35. While at the bookstore this afternoon, I noticed knitting books published with the assumption that the person purchasing the book is under 35. There seems to be an undercurrent that the crafting population is this hip generation.
I understand that crocheting and knitting have become trendy over the past several years. I crocheted as a girl and made things over the years whenever time permitted, but wanted to learn who to knit in addition and took up the knitting needles a few years ago. I didn’t start knitting until my late-thirties, but does that mean that I am not of the hip crowd? Does creativity diminish with age or does it flourish as one gets older?
Actually, I do not have a problem with publishing focusing on the younger market of crafters or would be crafters, but would like to see a market that does alienate the over 35 crafters that are just creative and willing to learn a new hobby. It makes economic sense to horn in on to the over 35 market as they have more disposable income to dive into a project on the weekends.
I generally don’t write everyday, but realize that writing should be an everyday event if I only write one paragraph or sentence. I can fit writing into my schedule and eliminate activities that isn’t productive and waste time. I could write a couple of hours each night and Saturday mornings re-read my entries to see any ideas I can expand and create stories. In fact, I am processing this idea I as write. I am creating a strategy and schedule to have writing as a daily exercise along with other things in my life.
Writing doesn’t always come easy as I must find the words and phasing to express my thoughts on the page. However, I use to editing my work as I write and doesn’t hinder my writing process. I shall find the time to for reading and writing to improve my skill as a writer, and an opportunity to find my voice.
While commuting to work this morning, I came up with an idea for a story after reading an article in What is Enlightenment Magazine and thought about a conversation with person who seems to be going through a identity crisis and doesn’t realize it. This person is irony incarnate with living in denial and perhaps oblivious to his being. I said perhaps because I do not know if he sincerely oblivious or just willfully living in denial as a way to shield himself from facing some harsh realities about his life. However, I am thinking sincerely oblivious or living in denial are possible one in the same as both acts result in as a defense mechanism.
Either way, I think is a theme to write about in a story line. An existential crisis is certainly not a new theme as the subject has been covered in many books and movies, but there is always different twist to a story. I can make this character based on an actual person and attempt to write how it could relate to the reader or least entertain him or her reading the story. I don’t want to write about new age, but the irony. How can a person who studied transpersonal psychology is completely incapable of figuring out his or her own existence and make an attempt to show someone else the way? Perhaps transpersonal psychology doesn’t really work if the very people who practice can’t seem to grasp the concept and there is the underling question that I have to seem to have a complete disregard for empathy. Perhaps that is something to explore in writing.