Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Social Metaphor







I think OCD causes me to count, and sometimes it drives me a little doolally, but I've come to accept this as part of who I am, and just another personality quirk, and everyone has one.

Because I try hard to walk everyday, trying to get in shape and loose some weight, I've been counting my steps with my pedometer. I don't count calories, stitches, or words unless I need to.

Lately I count days because I'm waiting, for something I'm really looking forward to next June when I'll be 65 2018.

I'm a self-confessed recovering alcoholic now for 23 years. I've heard it was said, the definition of an alcoholic is a person who has to have something to look forward to. I do believe this is true for me. Perhaps this is why I count. I look forward when I come to the end of my counting, but it never seems to stop. One's too many, and a thousands not enough!

My good friend generously gave me a beautiful table loom with all the extra gadgets and gizmos needed, including a book and thread that goes with it to weave. I'm wanting to take it on as a Winter project, which I know means more counting, this time counting threads.

Spring cleaning is not something I do. I refuse to be inside the house cleaning once Spring arrives, but come Fall, before Mother Nature lays down her Winter snowy blanket, I get the strong urge organize, reorganize, and clean, but thankfully this is not where my OCD kicks in! Rearranging and cleaning this time of year is my way to subvert the Winter blues. It never completely keeps them at bay, sure does help. I'm not a Winter fan and never will be, no matter how I've tried over the years.

This morning while going through a bag of papers I'd stored away for whatever reason, I came across something I'd written down, that someone else said. The sentence went like this "the thread of sewing and writing is a social metaphor." I believe it was a quote from Helaine Posner made by Ann Hamilton, and the scholarly article The Poetics of Place.

I'm sure you can substitute sewing with any kind creative handmade artwork.

The line of thought continues to describe how we make things with language and words are our materials, the thread as line and the thread is as a line of writing. It goes on to describe how we are sensory beings and as adults we negate this. As adults we need to go back to being multi-sensory, where we smell the work and experience skin and the line.
I'm sure any kind of creative handmade work could be substituted in place of sewing.

I admit I don't normally smell my work, unless I working with oil paint and using turpentine, you can't help but be aware of the smell. I no longer work in oil, so I rarely smell anything unless my egg tempera paint has gone bad, and there's nothing pleasant about the smell of rotten eggs!

In the past I've loved thick oil paint on canvas and felt the desire to eat it. I admit as weird as this might sound to some,  I know I'm not alone, as I've had other artists tell me they experienced the same thing.


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