I learned at a very young age that life is short. Being introduced to your mortality breeds a deeper understanding, an immense appreciation for the gift of being here at all. That keen of an awareness plays an important role in shaping a life, in dictating its priorities and setting its goals, in preventing it from becoming lackadaisical or indifferent, in teaching a body that some days it is completely acceptable to do no thing.
I have those days when I feel like it, when my body or mind or both whisper the need, but most days the personal time I take is spent doing something just because I want to and as y'all well know that frequently involves beads.
I'm a day late posting this week's Focusing on Life photo because I needed a little extra time to figure it out. It wasn't until I was photographing this pendant a little while ago that I really got it, the purpose of the inordinately large amount of time it took to create.
Turquoise and brown is my go to color combination for complete relaxation in flow of creative thought. It is a security blanket of beads, mom's hot chocolate after a day of snow sledding with my brothers. Comforting. Calm. A touchstone.
Except this one wasn't. I'm not much of a planner when it comes to beads. Introduce me to a pattern and I'll introduce you to my exploding brain. Beading is a refuge for me, the freedom to do whatever however my intuition guides me. And usually I don't look down a quarter of the way in and think "Yeah. No."
I did with this one. Several times. To the point where I set it down with the intention of ripping it out later. But when later came I added a few more beads instead, all the while not impressed but choosing to follow the curious drive to finish it anyway.
The turquoise rounds stand a bit tall among the seed beads adding what I had considered too much dimension, and I thought to balance that with the bronze crystals. I finished the edging with a straight line wrap in an attempt to retain what I originally thought to be a flower shape.
This morning while seeing the pendant through the camera lens I realized it isn't a flower but a shield, and I at once understood it completely. The busy-ness of the dimension, the seemingly chaotic color layout, the dividing line from turquoise to bronze....all neatly packaged in the clean finished lines.
It is life: The things we must do, the distractions to endure, the doubt to overcome, the business of it all wrapped up in the stitching of precious shielded time.
I worked on this over a few days, hours that I see now were spent with this week's assignment being turned over in the back of my mind. The separation of color is symbolic of fighting through the perception of being unsettled, of listening to the inner voice no matter how much the brain doth protest.
Even though you may not know why, even though you can't see the beauty of it, and even though the business of life demands your attention...taking time for yourself is on par with breathing.
You need both to be who you are.