I recently found out I was horrified by the change from Home-Ec to Home Consumer Sciences. I claim feminism and love my fierce believe in equality. BUT I ALSO HOLD SACRED HOMEMAKER. I am a slightly hippy, local food loving Momma. I gave up the high powered career to raise my child and nanny my brother’s children. Was it the path I thought my life would take? NOPE, never.
My path was surprising, as my hubby and I thought about building a family we quickly realized it would take one of us leaving the 60 hours a week to create a space to build a family. I worked in to build a small but meaning-filled art business two years before we started trying for a family. I then started nannying my brothers two children before I had children of my own.
During this time, I spent a lot of time explaining what I did exactly… that is when I landed on Creative Homemaker. I created a sacred safe creative space for my two charges to flourish and when I became pregnant. I focused even more on Home Making. This was a term I was raised to joke about. I love the term in my art to be a maker. I feel the energy in this language.
As ancestrial diet and local eating became the craze, my need to be a homemaker and claim the sovernty of that language turned on even more. I feel like my work is seasonally driven and it is work that is rhythmic.
I have put my own unique spin on Homemaking. I am a creative soul and my heart was nurtured by my family who believed in me. When I was told “I was not an artist” at school, the craft and art supplies ever increased at my home. This was essential for my soul to continue to breath. The creative work I engaged in at home helped me develop until my heart, until my head said – “who cares” in late high school and I started taking art classes again… surprised or not at all, I was pretty good.
Home can be a place were we create safe spaces for the whole family can figure out what makes them tick. How do we inspire vulnerability and life long learning at home?
December of 2013 – Heartbroken & numb – I sat in a councilors office and she asked me if I had done any creative projects around the grieving process, my first thought was – Duh?
Creativity is how I get to know myself.
She sent me off with instructions to start thinking about grieving as an art project.
Start a page in my journal.
Then to the research – for this project I started with the clothing of grief. I went to one of my favorite thrift store, costume magic & vintage frippery. I looked through racks, baskets, and piles of goodies. I was searching for beautiful sadness.
I felt my heart welling up as I found the black section of the frippery. I found a few pieces of lace and spoke with the passionate shop maven.
We talked about how the lace I chose was probably sewed into many dresses & reused by families of women who needed grieving clothing. I also found a beaded collar and she believe it was probably used by a women who lost her partner early and had years of black to wear.
I thought about my own story – one son born to me after three months of bed rest. Doctors offices bad news, miscarrage. And another, and three another’s…. let’s adopt – we leapt headlong into a crazy adventure… but the trade winds of faith were not blowing our way. We ended up with more loss, there is no word for adoption loss. But we had eight non-spoken pains. This all lead me to a journey of healing – journals, counseling, and inward exploration.
On September 27, I lost a piece of my heart. My big brother died suddenly in a motorcycle accident. In the weeks that followed, my tribe came around me and held me up. Cared for my son, washed my clothes and fulfilled commitments I could not.
I don’t know how I walked through these weeks, I hope with grace, patience and love on my lips. I felt him whispering to me “stay strong sis” & “have a good cry, Stumpy” – his voice is in my head at night.
When asked how I am, I can only say “upright.” My days are only marked by wet or dry days. My grief is written on every moment of the day, I know it will lesson as scar tissue forms but for now, I can still see my pulse in the wound.
It is strange how old wounds open, with a new pain. I have turned to my journals, my family, friends and inward as I work through these tough days.
I hope in the days and weeks to come to journal here about the journey of my season of grief.