I have awesome friends. They’re not just awesome because they like me and put up with my dorkiness. They are awesome in the proper sense of the term, and have mad crazy skills and knowledge. They make beautiful things. They publish books and papers. They work on reconstruction projects and study artifacts more than half a millennium old.
Weeeeellllllll…… I do make some stuff. And I am working on my projects. Some putter along, others stall interminably. For example, the hood in the picture has been frustrating me since April. I also have far more ideas buzzing around in my brain than is perhaps strictly healthy. Many of these ideas are diffuse, just images or concepts, or even a few lines from a reference begging to be chased down and set into a greater context.
non optare sed agere
Non optare sed agere: Stop wishing, start doing.
This is the new motto I started using this spring. Stop wishing. Stop thinking so darn much about those silly button holes, and just SEW them already! So what if they are a bit wonky? Looking at the hood for another week, or even another month, won’t suddenly provide the magical insight on how wide to make the spacing. And not like there is an overwhelming body of extant garments to tell me this either, so I need to stop looking in the cotton picking books and CUT BUTTON HOLES!
Here’s what I’m trying to convince that part of my brain that gets bogged down with inertia; Start doing! Just cut the cloth. Get on with it and sew that seam. I know enough not to make a total mess of things most of the time. And if I do? So what? There are a few extant examples of truly mediocre work, and I’d like to think an overwhelming body that was simply good enough and got used to rags such that it is no longer in existence. So even if the edge weaving is a bit wonky, the hood will still keep me warm. If I get the buttonhole stitch backward a couple of times, it will still do its job. And I’ll learn something and take that with me to the next project.
In an educational psychology class I took many years ago, a professor said no idea had been truly thought until it was framed with words. Time to grab those concepts flitting around in my skull, capture them on paper and construct concrete projects. Only then can I understand what next steps to take, be it more research or to challenge myself to learn a new skill.
And maybe that is the secret of my awesome friends. Long ago they dared to simply start doing.
Time to get to work.