Thursday, 21 July 2011

Starting, Finishing, and the Bit in the Middle

Posted by Picasa
I hesitated on the title for this post: Zen and the art of finishing sounded just too pretentious, but maybe it would have been catchier. And as photos go, the cloth bags on the line are not too eye catching either, but it struck me as a metaphor. I use these cloth bags to hold projects--a knit project, a collection of information to be passed on, the notes and handouts from various projects: working with the home ec classes in the high school, corsages from Knit in Public Day, brochures for Prince Charles's Campaign for Wool--you get the idea--a motley assortment for my varied interests.

I started using cloth bags as a quasi organisational technique when I went back to grad school. I was juggling teaching, a part time job, and my life as a student. The cloth bags were part of the lore of teaching writing--they were sturdy enough to keep student's papers together and intact and light enough that you did not give yourself a hernia lugging them around. The senior teachers had posh bags from Land's End or L.L. Bean--more like cloth baskets if you will. I made do with bags from stores like Trader Joes or Wild Oats. When I moved over here, I started the habit up again.

Since my first kindergarten report, it has been noted of me that I prefer starting things to finishing them. And in the fullness of time I have come to accept this of me. Sometimes I still try to rationalize it away or joke about it, but when I did a bit of a cleanup in the loft --a nest of projects past, present, and future I was gratified to be able to work to the ends of these project bags. When I get around to it, I find finishing up things exhilarating. There is a marvellous sense of --purposefulness, satisfaction, completeness that comes with finishing something.

OK, there are still way too many half baked thingies hanging around calling for my attention and probably always will be, but I washed those project bags and hung them on the line as a reminder that finishing is fun, too.

No comments:

Post a comment