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Entries in crafts (1)

Sunday
Nov042018

Anxiety and Handwork

I'm not sure when it happened, but in the past five or six years, I've found that I am unable to do one thing at a time effectively.

This is how I explain why I'm always on my smartphone. I need something to do with my hands. It's not all social media stuff either. If I'm watching TV for example, I have to play a game on the phone while I do it. I feel like this makes me focus better. It probably doesn't, but that's the way it feels.

The problem is the smartphone feels like it's relaxing my mind, but it's actually winding me up. Making me get more amped up instead of letting me slide into whatever experience is before me. I've been thinking about this a lot lately... about this need to do something concrete and real with my hands while engaging in some abstract type of activity (watching something, listening to something, etc). Why doesn't the smartphone suffice?

We want to move our hands because human beings have an instrinsic need to work. We live in a world, though, where few of the things we use are the things we have made. I think food might be the last thing that we both make and consume on a regular basis. From the clothes we wear to the sofas we sit on... our hands aren't part of the equation when it comes to fulfilling our needs.

I personally think there's a connection to be discovered between the collective level of anxiety members of the industrialized world feel and the alck of opportunity to make useful, concrete things with their hands. I have been plagued by anxiety of late. A lot of that has to do with the nation's Fascist in Chief (herein referred to as FIC) and his unwavering dedication to keeping the brown woman in her place. But even there... we have a connection. Producing work... concrete art... it requires problem solving. And it is also engagement in problems that you can actually solve. I cannot solve the problem of our FIC not having a freaking soul. But. I could sew some unique linen napkins that are stylish in a way not determined by Target or Pier One. Solving little problems makes me less anxious about solving big ones. Confident, even.

(Right now I have "How do you solve a problem like The Donald?" running in my head a la The Sound of Music which interestingly like our lives features Nazis).

All this to tell you that in the next week, while I will still be producing content HERE, I will be going on an iPhone fast. I will only use the phone for work and I will not work after 6. Instead I will: sew, paint or knit. 

You should know that I am novice level on all of those things. 

I will take pictures and post them for your amusement.