Now that I’m on Vashon I am ambivalent about blogging. First of all, I’m ambivalent about posting to “Parkview 616” because I don’t live there anymore. When I started this blog in 2007, not only was I living in that apartment, I was mostly housebound and spending almost all my time in the room with that view at the top of my blog.
Secondly, I began to blog at the urging of other stitchers with whom I was participating in online courses and challenges. They’d read my comments on their posted photos and blogs and they’d seen my photos at group sites. After wondering for a while whether I wanted to spend any of my limited activity time and energy writing a blog, I did so with the main intention of communicating with fellow stitchers. I made that intention clear in the subtitle, “About my life in stitches.” I thought I was just going to show and tell my needleart.
As you know, my life has changed radically since then. In fact, since my recovery in 2009, I’ve not been able to do any serious, sustained needlework because of ADHD and my “allergic” reaction to my living situation at Charlestown.
So instead I’ve posted about the changes and challenges in my life after ME/CFS.
While I was housebound, I thought that I had found a new vocation–learning to make needleart. It was about five years after my collapse forced me into disability retirement and seclusion that I discovered a passion for making things with needle and thread, and then all sorts of other materials. Until then it had never occurred to me that I could make visual art. In fact, I was sure that I couldn’t; but I had to find something to do, some way to be productive, to have a satisfying life. I began to take needlework seriously, studying it, working at it, learning how to design, learning new ways of working, and trying to improve my skills. In 1997 I wrote that as a corporate manager and consultant, I had made things happen. Now I made things.
Every aspect of the process brought me intense joy and satisfaction. Learning new techniques and working with new materials was such fun. Sharing what I was learning and making was also very rewarding. I miss that. But so far, I haven’t wanted to finish the needlebook cover that I had designed and kitted for traveling before my first trip to Vashon in July. Unable to work because of the ADHD I’ve had since recovery, I seem to have lost the passion I had for designing and stitching.
Maybe that was just my vocation when I couldn’t be out in the world.
As for being out in the world, here’s a bit of an update about my life on Vashon.
I’m getting my place organized. It was immensely comforting to unpack my books and get all of them where I can see them. I know where each one is now. Some are in the hutch in the kitchen area.
The rest are in boxes, improvised as bookcases.
I’ve got most of my art placed approximately where I want to hang it. I had Book TV on the television. You can see my piano and my office area.
Here’s the view from the back of the apartment.
I’ve joined the Vashon Allied Arts, which supports all the arts on the island. Its offices are in the Blue Heron Arts Center.
Here’s the main hall divided for an art exhibition.
Here’s one of the featured works–magnificent textile art combined with rusted metal in a wooden frame.
The artist is Kira Bacon. Geoff has offered to introduce me to her.
I’ve subscribed to the Vashon Chamber Music series, a lecture series on women artists, the Vashon Chorale, and Vashon Opera. The calibre of the arts here is mind-blowing. World-class artists live here and they attract their friends and colleagues to join them from all over the country. But I’ve been urged by Vashonites to shush my enthusiasm lest others find out. A new arts center is being developed, though.
Caleb and Lauryth have not needed my help so far, which is good for me, as it’s given me time to focus on my own life. Most days I spend in solitude, and I love it. Every day when I leave my apartment, I walk into the forest where I see no one. I do not have to walk down halls, interacting with Charlestown residents. I do, however, see the naked bodies of mostly fat, elderly women in the communal shower and open locker room at the athletic club–something I never saw at Charlestown. Something else I didn’t do at Charlestown–I share the pool with competitive swimmers.
Friday was an unusual day. Wide awake at 5:00 a.m., I got up and went to the athletic club. Heretofore I’ve been going at 11:00 for the mid-day lap swim period. While I was eating breakfast, Nan called to ask if I could help with her move. Shortly thereafter, Geoff called to ask if he and Beau could come for a visit, which they did. Then I helped Nan, went to Geoff’s house to get basil Carol had harvested, and to Thriftway for the rest of the ingredients to make pesto. Back home, I got a call from Lauryth inviting me to dinner that evening. After which I went to the Chamber Music concert.
I talk with Ernie every day and every evening I send an e-mail message that is delivered to his cubby. He’s okay and he keeps telling me how happy it makes him to hear about the pleasures of my life.
As for my vocation, I don’t know what I’m going to be doing from now on.
And I don’t know whether I will continue to blog. So far, I have nothing to say “about my life in stitches.”