Monday, October 20, 2014

Something Out Of Nothing

I wish our great ideas had monetary value.

I spend a lot of time each day thinking of wonderful projects I could craft, stories I could tell and dishes I could cook or bake.

What's the problem?  The problem is these things never happen.

I have a tremendous amount of trouble getting the creative notions I have to translate themselves into anything tangible.
I'm not sure what the disconnect is.  I plan out exactly how to go about doing each task, from planning a jewelry piece to figuring out the perfect ingredients to put into a dish, and then I take them and push them back into the cob web covered depths of my mind.  They will sit there and cause me endless anxiety.  I want to begin but I'm riddled with doubts that keep me from trying.

Let me give you an example.  Nearly three years ago I purchased a resin pendant with a tiny picture of an octopus in it's cabachon center.  For the last three years I have thought of creating a necklace around it.  It has an aquatic theme and there are bits of beach glass and pearls in sea foam green and cobalt blue that will make up the waves of the chains.  Silver wires that hold tiny opalescent seed beads will shoot off from the main twists to mimic the spray of the ocean.  Tiny shells and bits of spring green embroidery floss will peek through at random places to look like seaweed and things the tide would carry in.  I can visualize it perfectly, but I never seem to make it.

Part of the reason is, I nearly always find the reality of an idea a stunning disappointment.  I know that if and when this necklace comes together I will wish it were better and that it were created by someone with skill I feel I lack.  I tell myself I shouldn't try a new recipe because Andy may not like it since I am hopeless in the kitchen and wouldn't be able to do it justice anyway.  I have a hundred short stories filed in dusty boxes in the dusty crawl space of my mind's attic, but who will read them without judging them and finding them lacking?

It sometimes amazes me I write here every day.  I find it difficult that I have so few people that read these entries, and yet my plans to get people to come in droves to read my thoughts go exactly nowhere like everything else.  I guess I feel safe because I'm used to going unnoticed.

When I was in Alabama, back in the days of yore when I actually acted on my impulses, my friend and mentor Ruth called the kind of costuming magic we did in my undergraduate program "spit and sawdust theatre".  I had a terrible time spending money when I got to grad school because I was busy dreaming up ways we could make something for nothing.  When I actually had money to spend on a show I would scrimp and save and try and spread the money out by having creative and cheap solutions for everything.  I always had money left over and we would spend it on equipment or supplies because if you didn't spend your budget and they found out you could make due with less than they provided, next time you would just have less money instead of being rewarded for your frugality.  This pained me and was difficult to get used to.  I thought the ability to make a beautiful thing out of "spit and sawdust" was a laudable quality.

Is this why I no longer act on my ideas?  Why my dreams are fading in a tucked away corner when they should be brought to life?

I have lots of excuses.  I don't want to be judged.  I don't need to make something for myself to enjoy.  I'm not talented enough to try my best ideas.  No one really cares anyhow.  Why bother when no one pays attention?

Today I came up with an idea for a Christmas ornament.  I'm still working out the details.  There is little to no cost because it involves a lot of upcycled materials that are already kicking around.  It should be easy to make.  Easy enough that even I couldn't screw it up.  People who aren't me would probably like them.

What are the odds of them becoming a reality?

I must say, given my track record, they are not good.

Still, I am hoping and crossing my fingers that on Friday I will have something to show here.  I'm trying to be proactive and actually do at least one of my big plans a week.  A small and yet seemingly demanding goal.

Let's see what happens.