Daily Archives: May 7, 2015

Getting Lost in the Process: Reclaiming the Freedom to Create

Today I am sharing words from Jonathan Fields from The Good Life Project. I follow the podcast from GLP, and listen to these video essays while I paint or clean or sort or create. Many of these makers say words I want to say to you about why I quit my job and started a new “maker life” in New Orleans. One of my top priorities in opening Uptown Needle & CraftWorks is to share the joy of creating things, and to encourage others to use their hands because, as Fields says, working with your hands “just plain does something to you.”
Whether you write or sew or paint or garden, the mere activity of using your hands connects to your Creator, which reconnects you to your inner maker source.

IMG_0931“When you watch kids create something, it’s like watching an artist who is given complete permission to explore, experiment, and express. There’s no sense of censorship or fear of judgment…at least not until we’re a bit older. Working with your hands just plain does something to you. It drops you into a place of pure creativity and consciousness. You become the process, you get lost in it. And that sensation is pure bliss. But, as we get older, we tend to go to that place less and less. We leave our artist maker side behind. And, in doing so, leave a part of us behind as well.” – Jonathan Fields

It’s time to reclaim the freedom to create, and find your “inner maker”. This is not a sales piece. This is an invitation. Yes, I’d love for you to sign up for a class; however, I’d love more for you to just stop by for conversation. Sit on our deck for a time and think about what you are called to do in life. Look through our shop and see if anything is calling your name. Try something new. Come play with us!

More than anything else, what do you love to do?

Culture and the Importance of True Self

Am I the only person that lies awake at night thinking about the state of our culture? There is nothing worth watching on 100 channels on our TV. We only have it for news and movies.  But while looking for something, anything, worth watching, I came across the following choices.

Who wants to keep up with the Kardashians? And why does anyone care?

Who is Honey Boo boo? And do they realize they are being mocked? 

Do real people really waste time watching this Duck Dynasty stuff?

We’re obsessed with weight, wrinkles and wealth. Does the Today Show not have real news?

A film crew follows a naked couple around on an island as they get sunburned and fake their survival. And it’s The Discovery Channel!

An idiot keeps pythons. The snakes kill 2 little boys. Why?

And then there’s the mom here in Memphis who stabbed her 2 children to death. More than sad.

I could go on and on.  I will never understand the marketing decisions these networks make when they go out and find the backwoods man with no teeth, and make him talk so people can laugh at the poor guy. And the overweight mother who is encouraged to eat while they follow her with the camera. Then there are the hoarders, mentally unstable usually. Or the two naked people made to look as if they are cave people, crying and acting it up, with ragged shoulder bags, charcoal rubbed on their bodies, dirt all over — and the camera crew filming their every move with spots over their genitals. Why? What’s the point?  

My heart breaks when I think about the money spent on the first five of these network shows above.  Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars. What would happen if all that money was put to use in righting the wrongs in our culture? This is a start of what I’d spend it on:

  1. Free birth control, free medical care and mental health counseling
  2. Free education and pay teens to go to school, more money for good grades
  3. Pay mentors to care for elders
  4. Pay elders who are able to be mentors to youth 
  5. Parenting classes for every parent
  6. Teach people how to grow their own food and give them the tools and access to do it
  7. Pay those living in poverty to attend Gettin Ahead in a Just Gettin By World workshops
What would you spend the money on?

Where I’m From

The Jacoby Store in Louisiana,
where my father grew up.

A model of my fathers old red truck.
Walthall Elementary School, Hattiesburg
(I alway likened it to the Alamo)

I’m from Mamaw Bass and Papa James,
the piney woods and Gore Springs,
butter beans and blackeyed peas,
Mason jars and bumble bees.

I’m from Aunt Emma, Alvin, Helen and Jacoby,
Walthall School and the Seale-Lily.
I’m from wire clotheslines and wooden washboards,
Swings on porches and torn screen doors.

I’m from tree houses in sweet gum trees,

The Beverly Drive-in Theater
burned this past year.

the sweet aroma of burning leaves,
shrimp gumbo and the Atchafalaya River,
from Cajun music and a guitar picker.

I’m from Edwards Street and the Dairy Dream,
red eye gravy and turnip greens,
rabbits in cages and more chicken please,
hot water poured over Luzianne tea.

I’m from Hattiesburg and a wooden boat
Antoine, Pierre and a billy goat,
playing under the house, the Beverly Drive-In Theater,
From diabetes and congestive heart failure.

I’m from cane poles and mule skinners,
all you can eat buffets and catfish dinners
buttermilk cornbread, coffee and chicory,
barbequed ribs smoked with hickory.

I’m from South Carolina and Louisiana,
Anjou pears and the Bouie River,
a big old house with an old red roof,
and ceilings that were never waterproof.

I’m from a faded red truck with a running board,
from wanting things we couldn’t afford,
from a fig tree and a hand-me-down,
Hattiesburg, Laurel and the Mississippi Sound.

I’m from Lake Shelby and Kamper Park,
kids catching fireflies after dark,
from the Golden Rule and love thy neighbor,
and burning crosses and Vernon Dahmer.

From sit-ins and a cow-pulled wagon,
Woodstock and a Beretta hand gun,
fig trees, rabbits and home-grown tomatoes,
catsup poured over French fried potatoes.

I’m from fried corn and cracklin bread,
the Sunday paper in Mama’s bed,
Moonshine and hurricane Camille,
From don’t let mama behind the wheel.

I’m from a petticoat and an undershirt,
digging to China and playing in the dirt,
from the (cedar) Christmas Tree that Daddy’d provide
To playing I Spy, and a country ride.

I’m from space heaters and fire halls,
wooden steps and popcorn balls,
old wooden radios with glass tubes,
and clumsy metal trays for ice cubes.

I’m from Bayou Lafourche and the Natchez Trace,
from roller skates and playing chase,
from a Catholic, a Methodist and a Baptist,
from a bigot, a blowhard, and an absurdist.

I’m all these things inside of me,
as exciting and embarrassing as they may be.
Using this formula as a rule of thumb,
Now, can you tell me, where are you from?