A few weeks ago, I met a local flower farmer. She sat in our front parlor (my current studio) and we talked about farming, fiber, amish & moravian roots. We talked about feminism & how to dye fabric with clay. I handed her some fabric. We draped a skirt I'd made, that had clearly been waiting on her for years. We waved goodbye.
In a month I'll greet a pal we met at our dear Jane's wedding (held at the farm) and we'll spend some days together crafting her gown. Watching fireflies from the front porch... staying away from "the brown liquor" talking about cattle and going to Hot Springs.
Space, Ease & Peace are my new success:
I found calm when I let go of my big dreams. I found joy. I found out how to be present and lean in and love well. I let go of the hustle. I let go of trying to be "someone". I let go of caring whether folks knew my name, recognized my work, or were impressed with any part of me. And it's like doing the dishes, I didn't just do it once. I let go every day. I lean in. I look at my loved ones. I remember how frantic I was, and how alone I felt when I chased ambition. It wasn't meant for me.
People ask me sometimes what I'm going to "do" when I get done with this pause. (It's normally after I've given a rousing speech, or finished a real fine frock.)
I'm doing it now. You're seeing it. I'm living a small and quiet, happy life. I take a few bespoke commissions, when it feels right. I charge a nominal fee: you can't actually pay for what I make: I spin a beautiful piece of sentiment, joy & longing for each individual wearer to don. ...and Otherwise: I'm making good cups of coffee, taking walks with my love. Making a simple linen dress, mending my love's dusty old work pants, letting go of what I thought I wanted, who I thought I was and what I thought would make me whole: for actual wholeness, love, depth, and communion right now. I'm doing it now.
Welcome to what it looks like for me, when I'm winning.
Sometimes the old ambition raises its head and for a moment, I stare back, entranced like a woman watching the weaving head of a dancing cobra. I get Big For My Breeches and I start proselytizing, proclaiming and provoking and then I remember what it feels like to keep the speed up, racing towards a place, I never wanted to be. I remember the wreck of how it felt when I almost got there. And I take it back down, and here, in the delta of our sweet small valley, I meet joy and golden light setting over the hill. I walk in beauty and it calls back to me. I live in my eden, and I look out every so often hearing people wonder out loud to me what I'll do when I decide to rejoin the race. I try to find the words, to explain:
You Don't Have To Run It
-but by the time I find the right phrase, the person is long gone. Running down a road, I'm happier to have left behind.
Beautiful & cherished images, capturing us Living The Dream - by Meg Reilly Heirloom Photography.