I always come back here with an apology for not writing. However, I’ve been doing a great deal of it. I finished a book proposal for a book I am calling, “How To Be Old” (you have all inspired me) and submitted 2 essays for a writing class I’ve been taking that involves a workshop. I’ve also joined a writer’s group in my new city and submitted a potential introduction for the book. Thanks to something wonderful called London Writer’s Salon, I write at 8:00 AM each day for 50 minutes in the company of hundreds of writers of every stripe from all over the world, as we hold ourselves accountable to write silently together on Zoom. I’ve done this for all of June and as we end the month now, all of July. You set your intention in the chat, there’s an inspirational quote about writing and then you get to work. At the end, you report how you did. Offered 4 times a day hitting every time zone in the world it’s free and satisfies my need to be accountable. Since it worked so well for the other writing I’ve done I’m going to add the 11:00 AM time and dedicate it to writing for this blog.
During this exploration, I’ve also found my form or my genre, as they say. It’s loosely called a braided essay, one that incorporates both a personal story and research and that places that story in a greater context than having it be just about me. I have done it skeletally here when I talk about things like evocative objects. These are essays that can have meat put on their bones and that I am re-visiting with my new eye and craft skills learned in this class. This form is the container that holds the two parts of me that have felt so disconnected; the creative and academic, the art and the science. I feel whole in this kind of writing. The craft part is braiding the strands through seamless transitions and shifts in time.
What is behind the scenes and doesn’t show up on Instagram and I’ve not shared it here, is the struggle I’ve faced throughout the years to see myself as a writer and fully own that identity. To allow it. I had a written an earlier book proposal that was rejected as being too academic and not commercial enough. Making progress at all in this endeavor has been due to you because of your support and positive feedback about the writing I have done. It has made me keep on, keep trying. In so many interviews when people ask me why I started Accidental Icon, I always respond by saying that I wanted to express myself creatively and WRITE in a way that was different from academia.
When I look back at some of my earliest blog posts they are more akin to the way I wish to write now and how I’ve written since the start of the pandemic. Somehow along the way the priority that I WRITE became lost in the shiny stuff that came along with being a social media influencer. During this time of transition, I have re-found writing as a purpose again. Your response to my post, How to Be Old could not have come at a more opportune and necessary time. David Bowie tells us that, “Ageing is an extraordinary process whereby you become the person you always should have been.” To me, he’s speaking about a ripening of what already is but continues to become more delicious and fragrant with time.
The Great Interrupter (my name for the pandemic for those who are new) still interrupts and may continue to do so for a time longer than we all believed. The rise in cases and breakthrough illness in those who are vaccinated is another opportunity to pause, perhaps given to us by nature yet again because so many people despite their promises not to have returned to living exactly as they did before.
During my first interruption, I realigned my priorities and changed my lifestyle in ways that made it more slow and sustainable, a renewed commitment to equity, a reconnection with the earth and writing, I still feel a deep, unformed as yet desire, to use my hands differently than simply putting clothes made by others on my body. I want to engage with a garment more intimately through some act of creation. I don’t want to break up with my love of clothes; I just want to change my relationship with them. It will be something new/old, like me and my house. It must include re-use. It needs to be something that also allows me to enjoy my love affair with nature, especially flowers. In this photo, the suit I am wearing, made from textile waste and sewn by a tailor somewhere in Africa is another designer’s desire. Mine does not yet have a form, but vague outlines are taking place and as things become more clear I will share them here.
Have you ever had a struggle with yourself about realizing something you want badly? How did you resolve it?