Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Do Not Fold

It's snowing. First of the season. Welcome to 2008.

I have no idea what to wish or hope or work towards for in the coming year. I have always just gone along with the jostling tides of life. It could have been worse.

New Year's Day is a human construct and has no impact on me. Just another day.

Having said that, 2007 was a good year. I finally got over the grief of my store closing. I loved that store. Still cannot comprehend all of the energy, love, and karma that I pumped - nay, bled - into that enterprise. It depleted me, it drained me. Arts & Artisans, the store, closed in 2005, after sixteen months in business. Here it is two and a half years later and I have only now been able let it go. I learned so much, I gained so much from my store that, now, I can see doing it again. With a lot more knowledge and experience under my belt. With the same rosy glasses as last time. What a fool I am.

(Arts & Artisans was a gallery and boutique. I sold my own wares and also sold on consignment art objects from many, many people. Near the end, I began to offer knitting needles and yarn and lessons. At the end, the money and my energy was used up and I had to close shop.)

In November, around Thanksgiving, I heard an interview with the bespoke Alice of the Restaurant on NPR. She talked about all of the good things of her restaurant, about how many people she fed and employed. Alice said that making a profit was never her goal - that feeding, employing, and meeting so many people was satisfaction in itself.

I never employed anyone and never even paid myself, but I know that I made a difference to a number of folks. Hearing that interview made me feel less of a failure. There were those whose art I sold, there were those that bought that art, there were those that were faithfully there, visited regularly, and helped and supported me in so many ways. One woman in particular, someone that I can't remember if she bought anything or not, stays in my mind. She was from out of town, on a business trip, she stopped in and we ended up talking for a long time. I did my spiel about following one's dreams, not just dipping a toe in but jumping into life with both feet, life is short, be bold and fearless, yadda yadda yadda. A month later, she returned to thank me for encouraging her to live her life to its fullest. To change the things she was uncomfortable with. Wow. That sort of thing made me feel really good.

There were the two Democrat women on election day, 2004, that brought me a hunk of Mandarin Orange cake from the little diner a couple of doors up. I gave them some inflammatory bumper stickers.

There were several young people that didn't buy much but whose company, vision, and youth, I valued.

I taught several people to knit, a few to spin, and inculcated a love of fiber and art to many others.

I miss the store, but now, I am able to move forward.

I am trying to get into some other kind of business. (I still have my wholesale knitting needle account.) Some little thing from which I can make a small amount of cash, like Fuzzarelly Fibers. Now is the time that I wish I were younger and/or more full of energy. Can't be younger, though. Come on, Energy!


Anonymous said...

I too thank you for the philosophy; you are, and have been, influential beyond anything you know.
Nancy NeverSwept

Valerie said...

We can't learn and grow without some tripping, some grief, some mixed feelings -- and some friends. 2007 certainly held all those things for both of us, I'd say. thank you for being my friend. I hope 2008 holds secret wonders for us all.