the stories we tell ourselves

For those of you who’ve kindly followed my sewing journey to date, you’ve probably worked out this blog is less about sewing and more about what I think about when I’m sewing.

Whilst my spiritual leanings are distinctly Buddhist, formal meditation does not come easy. Movement has provided a window into the benefits single pointed attention might bring – yoga, cycling, running – and recently I’ve discovered another portal in sewing.

I started journalling my adventures in stitch with the aim of documenting my makes and writing about the process in a traditional fashion. However, when I got down to the business of writing, what emerged were my thoughts whilst sewing, rather than the craft in hand.

I’ve always had things I wanted to say – just not the vehicle through which to express them. That is, until I discovered Maude and tentatively embarked on creating my own handmade wardrobe. Writing propels me to give memory form and in the process I’m aware of how much is edited and filtered through the eyes of the scribe. I’m sure people could read my recollections and find them markedly divorced from their own. For what are our memories, other than the stories we tell ourselves about what’s happened to us.

Writing this blog is an opportunity for me to revisit the past and celebrate a difference which used to elicit shame. It’s also caused me to consider the subjectivity of my reflections and their validity. I’ve always had strong opinions and am drawn to people who are emotionally articulate. I’m fortunate to be in close relationships with people whom I can be frank without fear of rejection – exploring differing viewpoints in constructive exchange. However, seeing things differently can result in disharmony and for me, managing conflict will always be an ongoing challenge.

The stories I’ve told myself have not always been conducive to a healthy state of mind. In adulthood, I’m pleased to be writing a different script, as I’ve worked out that most people aren’t thinking very much about you at all – they are far too busy making up their own stories about what’s happened to them. I’ve also met someone whose take on the world is filtered through a much rosier hue and he’s a joy to be around. Which has led me to rethink – if we are simply expressing our stories to one another, I’d rather be happy than right, fluid than fixed.

And finally, something about this post’s creative endeavour – a progression in the story of Maude. I’ve been toying with the idea of making Maude centric accessories and this is a tentative attempt at a make up bag. Folks on Instagram have been encouraging me to think bigger than I’d envisaged and I’m starting to think there may be scope for Maude to emerge on a wider platform than my clothing. But I’m a new kid on the block, with a head for words, rather than business. So, any ideas are most welcome … where do you see Maude?

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7 thoughts on “the stories we tell ourselves

  1. I see Maude on pencil cases, shopping bags, trainer logo’s, scent ‘Maude’s Magic Mist ‘, hand cream ‘Maude’s Magic Potion’, shampoo ‘Maude Headlines’ exercise mats ‘Maude Moves’, ‘Maude Matters’, ‘Maude will if you will’. I think I have become obsessed with Maude! I see Maude as a catalyst who happened along at the right time. Maude could have her own spiritual lifestyle column with a little help from yourself. We all benefit from associations with people who bring out the best in us and ‘know where we are coming from’ or ‘get us’. When you mentioned writing yourself a different script it reminded me of Eric Berne’s ‘The games people play’, and how relevant this is today. This examines the dynamics of relationships and is depressing reading if you happen to recognize yourself as one of the ‘game players’. You have to get through over one hundred and fifty pages before you hit liquid gold, it’s not all doom and gloom …… certain fortunate people behave in a way which transcends classification due to their awareness, spontaneity and intimacy. I see you on that boat now – you and Maude and your significant other. Good luck in writing your new life story XxX

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    1. Wowzers Terri – so much Maude love – you are brimming with ideas you are – you should become Maude’s manager! Thank you for all those visions – some of which I can easily bring to fruition. Others are more aspirational but a girl can dream. And you are the queen of the puns – I think you have excelled yourself this time. You clearly understand the trajectory I’m on with Maude for which I’m very grateful as I am for the sentiment in this message. Lovely words xx

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  2. i think there are plenty of maude possibilities…. as well as transferring options. (you can print onto fabric on an inkjet, and then heat press the image…..). tacky girl i am, i would also try and incorporate gold leaf or russian iconography…. i would love to see a warhol take, and or perhaps an hello kitty antidote…….. yup – endless possibilites!

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  3. Thanks Eimear! The possibilities really are endless and I’m limited only by the constraints of a full time job 🙂 I’m going to have a wee rest from Maude now and make some clothes for the spring – if I think of it, it will come! x

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