Sunday, April 5, 2015

Begin Again.

Driving and crying

All the way home from Oakland
because the young engraver you so thoroughly vetted (i.e. know nothing about beyond his stellar work)
totally ditched your lesson.

This was the day in which you were going to invest money to learn the use of your Lindsay Graver,
the one you've had since your first mother's day three years ago.
The one that is wasting under your leather bench,
the one that would make life so much easier.
Three years of some day

You get home and you call your mentor, chin wobbling.
You ask if she knows anyone who can help and as always she has answers,

You send a few emails.
Panic hovers for some reason, still.
Your mentor texts you an Instagram picture of the guy who was supposed to teach you today,
half naked behind his girlfriend. Posted this hour.
You feel stupid and suddenly old.

All of this resistance, all of these little pressures,
the doorway.

You gather the manuals.
Your husband reads their Greek and translates them into English.

You are all plugged in. 
Hug his neck, that kind and patient man.
Thank him for this gift given three years ago.

Haltingly at first, you engrave.
Get bolder.
See a ballerina dancing on a crescent moon.
Let it be chicken scratch.
Let it look kinda rough,
with a twisted foot and a crab hand,
please let those things be.
Let yourself get out from underneath the critic
long enough to play.

That smile?
Hard won.
That joy?
Beginner's joy.

Suddenly hungry,
suddenly uncorked.

All of this to say: when things fail, when resistance threatens to keep everything caged
just keep breathing, keep trying and keep taking baby steps relentlessly
and despite.
Don't let things not going the way you think they should keep you from
doing what you've longed dreamed.

Always and forever,



lynn bowes said...

My darling husband bought me a Smith Mini-Torch as a surprise one year and it was dusty before I got the guts to fire it up. In fact, we took it back to Praxair for the salesman to play with as he'd never had one and wanted to play. Finally, two years later, I gathered my courage (I wanted to create pin/rivets) and drove to the store and brought it home. I learned about the regulator, the tanks, the different tips, and lost my fear. ((whew))

You know it's already in you, don't you? I would say your tears are about something else, girl, andI say that with much respect and awe for your hands and mind.

:: lynn

alicia said...

i always find so many truths in your words. i guess it's because your words are so authentic. thanks for sharing this.

Allisunny S. said...

Alicia, thank you so much :)

Allisunny S. said...


Spot on, dear fellow-maker. The tears came from the waste of two hours and the thoughts of what I could have done with that time instead of driving to and from a lesson that never happened. When I take time away from mothering I want it to be useful or meaningful: that drive was just painful.

Warriormetalsmith said...

Growing primary flight feathers is painful on fledglings. They squawk and pick and scratch at them constantly. And then - out of that discomfort comes flight. ❤️

Andrea said...

Very inspirational.
Sometimes it's easy to forget that YOU, and other admired, awe inspiring, renaissance woman artists, can still have the fear, shaky starting hands...and yes the tears.
Thank you Allison for always being so real, so relatable and so kind.
Happy Spring,

Aga W said...

Oh, bless you. People don't realise how precious every minute of your time is, when you're a mum.
To bring smile on your face - I've learnt basics of leather carving from your short Etsy video :) I watched it several times, then watched many other video tutorials on YouTube and then.. started leather carving :) I wanted to learn how to work in metal, I watched loads of tutorials on YouTube while breastfeeding my daughter :) I've tried it, takes practice, but it works :) I fell in love in Ford Hallam's artwork, I've watched videos about using kiri tagane, my friend made a few for me and I've started :) Takes s**t loads of practice but again.. Works! :)
You've got massive knowledge about metal and incredible feel. Try watching video tutorials about engraving using your tool, they show so many tips and tricks - unbelievable :)
You'll get to the point where your engraving will be fantastic. Very soon. I'm sure.
Your leatherwork, painting, metalsmithing, songwriting and blogging are already loved and admired, and with engraving it will be no different, because you engage your entire passion to life into your art. It is so beautiful.
I was cleaning my magic spells earrings today :) Just to let you know - they are looked after well :)
Good luck with your engraving. I am so looking forward to seeing your wonderful work!
And thank you for sharing these valuable thoughts.
Hugs from the other side of Mother Earth :)
<3 <3 <3