Today’s post is only a little bit about craft - so feel free to skip it. It’s simply a small personal reflection that I got stuck on last week about the origin story of The Craft Sessions…. about how it all started with a song…well two actually. It’s a post about why our art matters.
Back in November of 2012 I was thinking of starting The Craft Sessions. There wasn’t really a retreat in Australia at the time, and I was deep in the middle of motherhood. I needed to do something, and as craft had really saved my life during the early years of having kids, my hope was that I could help connect other crafters more deeply to their craft so they had that same support. And hopefully I could bring a bit of joy to their lives. It was a simple idea - “to connect people who crafted for joy and foster a love of handmaking”.
But I was afraid.
Who was I to start a retreat? I was a woman who had been wearing a saggy maternity top for about five years that was covered in baby sick. Why did I think people would be interested, and want to come? What happens if it failed? What if I disappointed people? What if they didn’t enjoy it? What if what I did wasn’t good enough?
The fear was paralysing. And so I sat on the idea for nearly two years while I replayed over and over again the many reasons I had not to do it…
I hadn’t started anything before.
I hadn’t run my own business.
I didn’t have an online presence at all. Or in real life. Even my local yarn/fabric store people didn’t know my name.
The question my brain got stuck on was “who do you think you are!!” Not an original fear I grant you, but a paralysing one none the less.
But then something a little magical happened. One of my small people got obsessed with Clare Bowditch’s album The Winter I Chose Happiness that had just been released. The kids used it as an album to go to sleep to each night. And so every night I listened to that album over and over again. And it got to me.
You see there were two lines, two phrases actually, in two different songs, that made my heart catch in my throat. And I heard them every single day.
The first was….
Why hadn’t I started it yet? Why wasn’t I even trying? Why did I think that this project should be done by “someone better than me”? What kind of bulldust is that? It couldn’t be that hard surely?
And then - every single night as my kid was going to sleep - I would hear in the very next song ….
Holy shit. Even now that line breaks my heart, and fills me with hope all at once.
I will. I will be older in October. And my life is just flying by. And what am I waiting for?
Am I waiting to become unafraid? Or could I choose courage?
The next part of the song One Little River goes…..
There was a series of other things that happened to improve my confidence and get me going between that November of 2012 and the June of 2013 when I started The Craft Sessions. But those two lines, in those two songs were the thing that changed my life and got me to push go on the project that my heart was stuck on.
So as always, to bring this back around to craft…. I use this line all the time in my craft. “You’ll be a little bit older in October”. When I’m telling myself a story about why I’m not skilled enough, good enough, clever enough, to tackle a complex project, I come back to this line. “You’ll be a little bit older in October”. Because I will be.
I want to choose to be brave and fight against the parts of me that tell me I’m not enough. I get one life. And I want in. I want to make projects that make my heart sing, in my craft and in my life.
I guess I wanted to share this little story because from the outside it can often appear that we have our stuff sorted. That we were born confident and capable. I wanted to share with you the incredibly human head stuff that comes up for me each time I start a new project - just in case it is the same for you. To encourage you to also start to make the thing that you really want to make. To encourage you to practice setting your stories to one side, and to remind you that you will learn as you go. Because the only way to make the thing we want to make is to practice in the gap. And we are all there with you.
Oh and also to say that our art matters. What we put out into the world makes a difference in unseen and untold ways. x
I’d love to hear more about what you’d love to be doing or making but aren’t! And I’ll be back with more craft next week.
PS. The reason I was thinking about this was because Bowditch has released a new song Woman last week, for the first time in seven years - since that album that changed the course of my life. You can listen to The Winter I Chose Happiness on Spotify or Itunes or wherever else you get your music. And if you don’t follow her on instagram please do @clarebowditch. She is a shining light of a human. And you can find the lyrics to One Little River here and Amazing Life there.