I Am an Amalgam

I Am an Amalgam

I was going to say conglomerate

  • : a number of different things or parts that are put or grouped together to form a whole but remain distinct entities.

But amalgam fits better

  • made up of parts from various sources or of various kinds

For me it’s various sources and various kinds. I am so “this and that.” Because of that, I’m pulled in different directions. Sometimes I feel like the hapless fellow in the old Tarzan movies who had each limb tied to a different elephant, each sent in a different direction. (Well, not quite that gruesome.)

Some people can say “I am a writer,” or “I am an artist,” or scientist, or teacher, or . . . reporter, or embroiderer, or lead singer. Me? I’m a little of everything to the point that I’m not really any of them–jack of all trades, master of none (or maybe “wast . . . rel”). I mean, I really enjoy all those things and more, but mostly I’m merely okay at doing them, because I couldn’t possibly spend the time on all of them to be really good. Occasionally I get frustrated at not being better at something, but mostly I’m okay with being just okay.

Plus I get bored. My attention wanders. I might spend some time doing mainly one thing. While I never seem to get to the point of never wanting to do that again, after a while something else always come into focus. Learning machine embroidery led to an intense period of learning/doing hand embroidery that somehow let to art journaling that led to . . . I don’t remember exactly. I never gave up doing anything. Only the frequency varies. I don’t write nearly as much as I did twenty years ago when I was always writing poetry, short stories, even a novella, but I still write an occasional story or poem. For years I gardened with a passion. Now I enjoy just trying to keep up. I’m still stitching, but not with the fervor I had in, say, 2011. Learning and newness have a lot to do with it.

Right now I’m in between. I’m not fully engrossed in anything. With sewing/embroidery, where I seem to be hovering, I simply don’t know where I’m going. I get lots of creative ideas, but no real application for them. My goal for now through this spring is to get out of my head with these ideas, with and without application. Like the dots I’m stitching following Jude. No idea what I’ll do with them, but if I get enough patches, something will come. That is true for all my embroidering–hand and machine. I do know that making quilts for charity is something I’d like to do, so the idea of stitching out a lot of the machine embroidery designs on patches that I can use in quilts (or anywhere) is a good idea, too. I’d also like to make some more artistic quilts for family. I really want to mix hand and machine embroidering.

Well, we’ll see.

I’ve been talking to myself, using this blog as I use my paper journal. I guess that’s okay with me. Lately it seems that if I don’t have a dream to write, I don’t know what to write in the paper journal. . . .

I read an email from Bullet Journal today. Maybe it’s the ADD, or maybe it’s just me, but a bullet journal seems like an awful lot of work. Perhaps, if I were working at a job, it would be useful enough to use, but at this point in my life, dates seem to be enough. Stickers make good decoration. I certainly would find indexing my journals useful, but the work of it at this point seems to outweigh the usefulness. I did try it, but I didn’t find it helpful. I kept forgetting what was what and ended up about bullet journaling rather that writing content. Maybe if I’d learned to do it as a child or teen.

And that made me think about my journals. A lot of people end up destroying their personal journals because they were private. Mine are private, but I know how frustrating is is to find mom’s journals and the pages have been torn out. The few pages (and one letter to a friend) I have are such treasures that help me to know her better. I would never have read them without permission while she lived, but it would be nice to read them now. And since I know my son shares my sense of family history, I will leave my journals for him. (I wish I still had the very early ones.) He should have a lot of fun reading them. Although I date 99.9% of my entries, I tend to pick up whatever notebook is handy, so there are many odd, out of sequence entries, particularly at the end of a notebook, when I can’t seem to find the one I started six months ago, but I did find one, that I finished five years ago, that still has some blank pages.

A few years ago I started address an occasional entry to him. I think one of them starts out something like “Well, Alex, here I am writing out of sequence again…” It should keep him on his toes.

Most pages are similar to this entry. A little this ‘n’ that as it comes to mind. Some will also contain various types of lists, appointments, quotes, or poems in progress. Many will be records of dreams, particularly the story-like ones. (Usually written first thing in the morning after I woke up–occasionally written in the dark after waking up at the end of a dream in the middle of the night. Even I have a hard time deciphering those!) I think one journal started out as a novel I never wrote past chapter one (because I had no idea what the story was). I know several contain diagrams and how-tos for things I wanted to make–and sometimes did!

That was Wednesday. On Thursday (which is just coming to an end for me at almost 3 am Friday morning) I read two books.

This first was Real Police Ghost Stories. This is a book I got for my husband for Christmas. (The man is obsessed by true crime and ghosts.) It was interesting to read these stories culled from actual police reports, but whew! this really, badly needed a line editor. It read as if it were dictated to a typing program and was never proof read before publication. Fortunately, it’s a very thin book and the reports were interesting.

Next I picked up Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah. I really liked this story. I guess it’s mainly a mystery, but definitely not the usual type. It’s about a little girl who may or may not actually be a alien, so it may (or may not) also be science fiction. It does have science in it. It also has some romance, but not stupid, formulaic romance (which I really don’t care for).

When I finished the book, I wrote two reviews on my Kindle (’cause that’s where it is) and it ate both of them. That, plus the fact that I hate spellcheck because it’s always changing my words, made me decide to rewrite tomorrow on the pc or laptop.

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