Just before I fell asleep last night I realized that, when I look back at my life, I always decide that I have been a complete and utter idiot up until very recently. Whether I have any sense now is remains open to question, but if I try to be in the moment, I usually think, "I'm okay. I am a good person, and I quite enjoy hanging out with myself. I like what I make, and do, and I think I have finally got a bit of a handle on things."
And then, something springs up from the past, and blindsides me. This is what happened with two lovely comments from Blandina and Lis on my recent amulet tutorial. They both thanked me for the post, and reminded me of the travel amulets I had made and sent them before they went to Japan for a workshop with Bryan Whitehead.
I was shocked! I had made them amulets? Really? Slowly, the mists parted, and I remembered. Of course! They went on that workshop that I would have loved to have gone with them to. It was at some chaotic time of my life or other, and I couldn't afford to go, but I could send a bit of my energy with them. After Blandina and Lis returned and I heard about how wonderful a trip it was, I was happy for them and then, I guess, I kind of forgot about the amulets. But they didn't obviously. What a wonderful little hit of energy was returned to me, years after it was sent out into the world!
So what can I conclude from this story? No, not my default position that I am a complete and utter idiot. How about, maybe, I have been a better person that I thought I was? All along? Could that be? Or maybe, just maybe, those years of therapy actually worked. Or, simply, I am not the impartial observer of my own life that I thought I was.
Quite often I have made things and they go out into the world and I forget about them until stumbling across them years later. I am usually astonished. "I made that? Wow, it's better than I thought." When I am too close to something, all I see are the flaws, the bits I could have done better. Time has a nice way of giving distance and revealing truth.
the genius Lynda Barry's new book Syllabus. It is a real mind opener and I unreservedly recommend it, along with her brilliant What It Is and Picture This.