I have a hangover (not that kind). I'm sitting here listening to Kentucky Rain by Elvis Presley and still, at 2:30 in the afternoon, after I don't know how many cups of tea, I am still so woozy. I'm creaky and awkward and in a half-stupor of sleepiness and smiles. I'm trying to eek a workday out of what's left after a handful of wonderful telephone conversations, a game of fetch with Ollie outside in the warm sun, and some bumping into chairs and tables for good measure.
I stayed up nearly all night reading Molly's book, and then woke up early to finish it. I can't really put into words just how much all those words and sentences and paragraphs and moments and memories mean to me, so I'm not even going to try. Also, that's not what it's really about, is it? You should just read it for yourself, it will mean something entirely different to you, I'm sure.
I thought to myself that perhaps I'm not alone in feeling a little bit connected, or a lot connected to the patchwork family we've all sort of become over the last handful of years. And so, some phone calls were in order. I wanted to share with some of the friends I've made here just how great a feeling this is, and they were very much in agreement, I found. This feeling comes, ironically, at a time when I've actually been trying to pull away a little bit. Well, pulling away isn't really the right way of putting it. Let's just say I'm trying to be a little more purposeful, a little more deliberate about what I put in front of my eyeballs each day.
It can get sort of overwhelming around here, can't it? Like it's just all way too much of everything. Way too much inspiration to actually be inspirational, way too many ideas multiplying from that inspiration than could ever be possible to bring to life, and way too tempting to be lead in directions that lead far, far away from the path you intend for yourself. Like my friend Blair said today, after the avalanche of images we can expose ourselves to during an afternoon tour of blogs and websites, sometimes "it feels like you have to lay down and take a nap." I agree, and well, I don't want to feel like that anymore.
So, in the last couple of weeks, coinciding with my new weekly menu plan and shop (which is going so well by the way...more on that later), I've implemented a new personal rule in an attempt to make that feeling go away. I don't want to feel tired, or distracted, or wasteful of my own time. As I've been working on the watercolors, and some other new work for a beautiful shop in Brooklyn (more on that later, too) as well as some new things for Hygge & West, I've been trying to focus on reaching deep down inside. I'm hoping I'll find a way to express what's at the core for me right now, what I really want to say. Of course, I don't want to be so deliberate as to lose an opportunity that may arise to arrive at an idea gracefully. I just need a selective pair of blinders. Blinders that serve to reinforce my ideas, rather than distract me from them.
One day, I stumbled on the idea that I could choose just what I want to be influenced by. Obviously the idea is not a new one, by any means, but I hadn't been thinking in these terms at all for a really long time. I mean, I use Bloglines. And I have made efforts in the past to cull the list down to my very favorites, but after all my efforts it is still a very, very long list. Really long. Embarrassingly long. And a lot of the places on my list were un-bolded by me every. single. day. The madness had to stop if I was ever going to find my core, it was getting to the point where I was wishing someone would screen print me a map or something. Ridiculous.
So I don't use Bloglines anymore, except on Sunday evenings. After dinner and the dishes (well maybe before the dishes) I sit down and choose 5 sources of online inspiration I'd like to give myself for the week and a couple things from my own shelves too (poetry, craft books, fiction, cookbooks, catalogs, music, whatever). This doesn't mean I can only look at 5 entries from Sunday to Saturday, it just means those will be my only stops throughout the week. No Bloglines, no more endless scrolling, no more avalanche. I guess it's similar to the idea that the music you listen to while working on a specific project might seep into the work itself in some way. As inspiration goes, it will always have a mind of it's own. You never know when it's going to come, so it still swells up naturally, just from a very particular place, if at all.
It's working. My mind has quieted down (*with room for improvement), I'm feeling grittily satisfied after the end of a work day, and grateful that I'm getting close. I'm on to something, I think. What I'm trying to say is starting to bubble up a little bit. Ideas are pulsing, thoughts seem to be in a holding pattern, almost ready to land. And it feels so good, woozy but clear, like a hangover. The good kind.
* Flickr doesn't count as one of the five quite yet.