Ah February, there you are… A month that brings me conflicting feelings each year. It still feels like a month for dreaming to me, like January and most certainly December. And yet December, like a changeling babe, always gets stolen away from the yearning arms of gentleness, darkness and silence and replaced with non-stop movement, bright lights, high-expectation, anticipation and noise. It takes me until mid-January to recover from the highs and lows of December, and before I know it, February is here once more.
I find myself yearning to be inside in February. Our daily ritual of lighting the woodburner in the morning is nothing but a delight, and stoking it throughout the day feels both ancient and right. Every morning it happens – whoever lights the fire is drawn into the mesmeric, hypnotic dance of the flames, hard pressed to pull themselves away and get on with whatever busyness lies in store for them that day. The message in the hearth is clear: “stay here, be still, keep on dreaming…”
But of course, life in the 21st century doesn’t allow for such inaction, such decadence! There are things to get done, a million ways to distract yourself from such frivolities! And so life goes on…
And so just what have I been doing these last few weeks? Well, seeing as you asked, quite a lot of this actually:
I recently applied for some funding to cover an intensive period of basketry training. Sadly, yesterday I heard I hadn’t got it. The email I received went something along the lines of “I would like to take this opportunity to say that this decision does not reflect the quality of your work, as the Trustees were extremely impressed by your case. I therefore very much hope that you manage to obtain the necessary funds elsewhere and wish you every success with your outlined project and future career.”
The cynical side of me says that they probably write the same thing to everyone. But I’ll tell you something. I’m not going to let it stop me! If I’ve learned anything from these past couple of months, it’s that I actually do have a dream. In fact, I have many, many, MANY dreams, but this one dream I want to share. I want to be a basketmaker! I want to weave beautiful shapes, forms, ideas into being. I want to use my hands for hard work and in the process create amazing pieces of functional art. I want to inspire and empower others to turn their own creative visions into magical, woven delights.
When I heard I hadn’t got the funding, I thought to myself “Great, I’ve lost hold of the one thing I thought could offer me some stability over the coming year and a half. Now what?” Well, you know what? I’ve decided I’ve had it with not believing myself to be good enough. I know I can do this and I know I can find a way to make it happen.
I believe in me.
There, I’ve said it out loud now.