Tuesday, March 21, 2006

blogging is the new ceramics

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest came out and suddenly it was okay to talk about the Nut House, and the nature of things that go on there. The landscape has changed, of course, and now most crazy people wander the streets of New York and Los Angeles, but there was a time, a very very long time, when losing your mind in America meant some well-meaning friend, relative, or state official would sign you into a facility for some shock treatment and strait jacket action. That doesn’t sound so nice, but the good part is that once they’d calmed your crazy, they’d set you loose on the rec room where you could sit around in a sweet sweet daze engaging in the craft of your choice. I can’t say why without doing some actual research, but the craft of choice for most certified people was ceramics. People worked themselves into a tranquil frenzy making those handy little mosaic plates to set hot pots on without burning the counter. They made ashtrays and vases -- things whimsical and utilitarian and having seen the handiwork of a few nutty folks myself I am qualified to say this, quite pretty too. And so it is no wonder that when I think of the Funny Farm, I eschew the dark vision of post brain-fucked Jack Nicholson in favor of the extra sitting in the background whipping up a nice lopsided candy dish.

This is the Age of Zoloft and I say it’s a damn shame. It’s a cold thing to be handed a slip of paper with a prescription scribbled in Latin and not also be given the warm comfort of time to sit in the sun and make stuff. Or, in my case, to make stuff and talk about it, which is why I come here and why, when I’m done, I go around other people’s blogs to see what they’re making out of yarn, and out of life.

I have yet to go down the pill road because I’m crazy enough to think I can handle my crazy on my own (if you knew half the things I’m up to these days, you’d know how crazy that is). Maybe the end will prove me wrong, but for now coming here and sharing the truth of my life feels like a better place to start. It ain’t ceramics, but it’s close.

So picture me sitting in the corner of a sunny room, wearing a bath robe and fuzzy slippers in the middle of the day, tinkering with tiny glass tiles as I offer this: The husband formerly known as The Bubba and I now find ourselves on new soil, I believe it’s called shaky ground. I am searching, searching, searching, for a different way of being in the world and I have already found myself going in circles, running up dead end streets, stumbling out into traffic. But whether I like it or not, and believe me when I say I don’t, this is what my life is, this is where I am, and I am grateful to have a space to hold it up to the light and not hide from it.


Summer said...

I love you, and am thinking of you.

sahara said...

You can handle your crazy on your own, unless you are driving others crazy too.

I am against pills. I lost a friend to Zoloft. Women need embracing and friendship, equality and better treatment, not pills.

Now that I've stepped off the soapbox; your work is looking good, can't wait to see it finished.

Ellen Bloom said...

I agree with Sahara...pills are not the answer. Making things is the answer. Immerse yourself in your craft and the answers will come eventually. If the answers don't come, at least you'll have completed scarves, shawls, sweaters, hats, etc.! You can start creating your own patterns, write them down and sell them! New career...new life!

Mo said...

oh my sweetest friend ...

there was a very dark time when i fantasized about hanging out in a nut house. the very idea of being allowed to be out of my mind filled me with a deep sense of relief and longing. i imagined the luxury of walking around in my bathrobe with two-inch-long grey roots, hairy legs, and the right not to speak to anyone if i didn't want to. i figured i could sleep all day long without people wondering if i was depressed because clearly i was, and so? the one problem, of course, was the idea of being committed. what if i woke up one morning and just like that i wasn’t crazy anymore? how would i convince the nut house staff that it was time for me to leave? and what if they didn’t let me?

no, i much prefer the idea of you knitting in the sunny corner and tinkering. i've watched you tinker for a long time now and know that 1) you will make something heartbreakingly beautiful and 2) you will grow.

i am, as always, your #1 fan.

(please pick up when i call tomorrow)

afrowalking said...

Somehow I am brought to tears by this one ... I love you.

Faith said...

Actually, I am for the pills. I find I spend much more time being out of bed and being me with them. Without, I was nearly catatonic. I could not do it on my own and it took a year of misery before I tried something at all. Now I have to ask, what if I hadn't waited so long? Where might I be now.

Anyway, do what's right for you, not what anyone else says. Knit away, be as you as you can be.

MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

Some pills are good, some pills are bad. I almost killed myself with Prozac, but find myself able to handle life with Zoloft. But knitting is a beautiful thing. Lemme know when you find the sunny room with fuzzy slippers. I wanna be click-clacking along with you.

ladylinoleum said...

Girl, I've done the meds and now I just manage my crazy my own way. I'm with you fellow Taurean fem, sitting 'round in my robe and messing around with my yarn. Works for me.

Nice post.

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