Last week, an old friend was in town and came to see us. It had been a challenging day: a puking kid, ergo little sleep and work, both the community and the make money types. I seriously considered cancelling dinner with the friend, but in the end I didn’t. We hadn’t seen each other in years, I had been looking forward to seeing him, so I made a large pot of chicken soup (good for an upset stomach, pimped up with cubed potatoes and Hokkaido pumpkin for dinner guest – and strengthening for an exhausted mom too). It was all good.
So this friend is an online buff from way back. He knows so many more things about the mechanics of the Internet in terms of business than I do it isn’t even funny. I always feel a little dumb when he and my husband talk, because my approach is so much less professional than theirs. That said, it did give me pause to find out the friend had no idea there was this huge crafts community out there. My husband told him about it, inspired by my darning in threads on the Funky Blanket from my last post, which is tedious work not only for those who watch, believe me. However, I always feel it’s an important part of the whole finishing up a piece to find closure process, and then there’s the Zen aspect of repetitive motion, as in all crafts that I do.
So these two were discussing my crafts thing, saying, as people will, ‚Man, I’d go crazy, this looks so cumbersome, girl, you’ve got some serious patience…‘. We had been discussing online history earlier, and I said I couldn’t imagine life without the Internet, both professionally and for my hobbies, such as they are. And I told them about the gigantic, inspirational and beautiful crafts universe out there, the vast body of knowledge comparable to the Library of Alexandria, plus the helpful and generous spirit among the people who do do crafty things.
I enjoy that, and I’d have a hard time living without it indeed. I do look for inspiration, tutorials and ideas online. But what I love about it most is sharing a passion. To see how hooked (yeah, there’s a pun in there) other crocheters are on this craft, and to get exactly why that is, and to be able to see their work online and have it appreciated by thousands and thousands of people all over the globe. It makes me insanely proud to have Margaret Hubert, whom I never even met in person but who checked out my last blog post at my request, praise the blanket I presented there, and I love getting comments from strangers just as much as I do from my friends in our little RL crafts club here in town. It’s great to be appreciated:-).
Here’s a quote by Neil Gaiman who said something similar in an interview:
‚You wind up in a village of people who think the same thing as you, who say the same thing, who like the same thing. On the one hand that’s wonderful, because when I was a kid, finding the people who liked what I liked and thought what I thought and read what I read and could have recommended to me things that I would have loved was a magic pipe dream. If there was one of us in each town, it didn’t matter that there were hundreds of thousands of towns in the world, we’re still never going to find each other. And the fact that now, you can find each other, is wonderful.‘
Obviously, he was _not_ referring to crafts, but art, specifically his Sandman comic he first wrote when he was in his late twenties, a time when there was no Internet. In the end, though, it comes down to the same thing: sharing an enthusiasm, being a fanboy or -girl, and therefore, ultimately, belonging :-).
So that’s one aspect, to not be out there by oneself. But the beauty of it, to a person who cherishes her own headspace as much as I do, is that you can belong, and be by yourself as much as you need anyway. It’s why I live in the city. It’s easy to be alone if you need, and you can be in a crowd if you prefer, or even both at the same time. Anonymity is frequently criticized as a downside of urban living. To me it means freedom, and the beauty of the Internet is that you can actually be both alone and be a part of a community, by your own choice.
Finishing off these ramblings with a nice shot of a funny crafts addition to a sculpture I saw the other day when taking a walk in the park:
Turn spears into yarnbombs, I say :-))).