January 20, 2013

Focusing on Life ~ Taking Time (the novel)

Over the years I've looked at my friends with children, a full time job, and extended familial responsibilities and often wondered how they could fit what should be a 30 hour day into 24.  Convincing them to take any time for themselves is never an easy thing, but sometimes I manage.

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.



  1. Juls - so perfectly said! and I love the pendant you made - stunning! I'm at a loss for words to express what I want - other than to say you inspire me :-)

  2. I like breathing and have never had a problem taking time for myself. My "light" needs to stay bright or nothing works.

  3. Wow Juls - that piece is stunning and your post is inspirational! Thank you!

  4. Awesome insight and beautiful pendant! I too have certain colors I tend to go to first when I need to be "creative". Thanks for the wonderful inspiring words. Look forward to next week!

  5. Hey Jules. I have missed you so much.

  6. That is so perfect Miss Juls! I love that there are halves to this, that there is a break in the pattern, the colors. I thought in looking at this that it seemed like an eye, something that looks deep into your soul. What an awesome insight you have seen with this process! I love seeing the creative process of another and the lessons that it affords us all. Enjoy the day. Erin

  7. What a wonderful post! The necklace has a rhythm to it the blending and breaking of colors and patterns, so much like life itself.

  8. This post was a joy to read this morning! And, your pendant is gorgeous!

  9. A very inspiring post. I keep hearing sermons, news reports etc, on the subject of allowing ourselves to just do nothing. Our brains need this down time to recharge, sort out the junk, and file the necessary stuff. I have no problem making time for myself, but it doesn't come without a bit of guilt when hubby comes home and I don't have supper ready.

    I love your gorgeous pendant. I've never had the desire to do beadweaving with these tiny beads, but I certainly admire the talent it takes.

  10. Wow! That message Juls... POW-R-FULL! It's so true, and it was spoken just to me, right? Hope your week is fantabulous! ♥

  11. What a beautiful post! I love the color and pattern of the piece, it represents the controlled chaos that is life so well!

  12. I also find bead embroidery to be very relaxing and me meditative. I just let the beads decide where they go. Also am very partial to turq and brown.And I agree with you live is very short.

  13. Hi Juli,
    I so agree we all need time to ourselves for whatever reason one may have, but the end result is the same the recharging of our sanity! That is a beautiful pendant/sheild you created.

  14. Outstanding pendant. I'm drawn to those colors too. Your post said it all so well.

  15. A very thought-provoking and insightful post. And even if something doesn't turn out like we imagine, maybe it has another--and better--purpose. Hmmm, food for thought. And the pendant is gorgeous, too.