Thursday 31 May 2007

A Basketful of Strawberries*

Somehow my meandering creative journey has started to pick up things like sustainability, art, green politics, home, all sorts of stuff - I feel like a giant burr caught on the fabric of this world, sometimes just hangin' on, sometimes causing a little irritation :-) and a lot of the time picking up stuff and spreading seeds around. I've always loved discussion, but not until I gathered up my skirts and rolled up my sleeves to get dirty creatively and start risking - what? my pride? a little bit of our money? time? - have things started to grow.

What in the world am I talking about? The chat. On Sunday I met a great group of women (maybe we can talk about the state of men and craft sometime?) and there was a lot of talking. Everyone brought food, and it was almost an afterthought - food? oh yeah, but we're in the middle of something here (I've never seen that at a professional conference!)....There were quilters, sewers, some knitters and crocheters, jewelry makers, someone who works with glass (glassblowing and other methods), bookbinding, button-making, illustrators, I'm sure I've forgotten something - all in a group of about 20 people. Amazing, eh?

We introduced ourselves, gathered in, and started on the goods. Funnily enough, I only remember one person knitting, but there were a lot of notes, ideas, being taken down. I expected it to be more raucous (probably because Safiya makes everything more raucous, so that's just the state of affairs around here), but it was (mostly at the beginning) reserved, tentative, anticipatory.....Canadian? Then a couple more people showed up and the burr started rolling, as it were. Talk about wishlists for our city, what's lacking, commerce and craft (how is stuff sold, what's the difference between the craft movement down in the States and up here? what kind of things sell? etsy, craft fairs), how can we integrate "high" craft and "low" craft (uck - so awkward of labels, but you know what I mean), how did we each get here? (in the craft sense), the usefulness of guilds (and of the Ontario Craft Council...hmmmm....) and lots more.

Sitting there, all I could think was that there's nothing lacking in could there be with even half of these bright, active people out in the community? People who do what they do (and many do a lot of different things!) because they love it, because "let's run with it" and "why not?" seem to be pretty good mantras.

What does this have to do with sustainability? Connecting like this was way better than any shopping excursion or big ticket purchase or whatever else business-as-usual-consuming is doing these days. All for a subway token and some homemade cookies :-)

p.s. *Thanks to SockknittingMama at Downshifting-path to simplicity for saying hi :-) Her mention was my strawberry for the day!

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