I am so very grateful for my life. It feels like I say that a lot, and I’d love to be more eloquent and be able to convey the feeling that rises up in the very center of me- so twisted up in sinews and soul that I can’t tell where the heat and energy have originated from. Gratitude. Such a heavy word with wings.
Why did my husband and I build a studio?
A couple of years ago I had a moment. I had been working at a quilt shop for several years, and one day while at work I was standing talking with the owner of the shop. While we were talking the words “It’s time for you to go” came to my mind clearly- like an announcement on a loud speaker in the middle of a mall. It caught me off guard so hard that I was distracted, even somewhat disturbed. Why? Why was it time for me to go? I wrestled with the question for a couple of months before I whispered a word of it to anyone other than in prayer. I thought I knew the answer. I thought it was to help my husband in his expanding business. It was a logical explanation, and wouldn’t a prompt like that be followed up with a logical explanation? I put in my 30 day notice at the shop, but still couldn’t actually let go. Maybe just fewer hours and more balance. Thirty days turned into several months. Maybe I didn’t really have to go. A relationship that was over, but I didn’t, couldn’t let go of it. After all, I wasn’t working at my husband’s business at all, so certainly I had been wrong. Maybe the whole thing was just in my head. The year wore on, and then suddenly on a very sharp day in August, it became clear that it was no longer working for the shop or for me to continue there. Such mixed feelings. Including a loss of direction. The kids were all leaving home, one by one. My life had been such a rapid cyclone of change over the last several years that I hardly noticed the winds anymore, and it felt like it was all suddenly slowing down and I didn’t know what to do. A year of ideas, awakenings, peace, joy, and never-ending change came and went. But still no solid direction. Just a stirring that I needed to do something. To borrow an idea from the movie Phenomenon, I felt like a pregnant woman who couldn’t deliver. My husband began plans for renovations at his auto repair shop, and as he looked over the building asked the question- “Why don’t we build a studio for you?” No self-respecting maker could possibly look that opportunity in the face and say “I’ll pass.”
And so it began.
Sounds like a dream come true, right? But if it was a dream come true, why didn’t I remember having the dream? It’s one thing to feel like that you are meant to be a part of something, but what if you can’t define what that part is, or even what the something is? Ideas had come and gone. Some really good ones, some not so good ones. Now I had this very real thing happening right in front of me. Tangible. Concrete. Wood. Dry wall. Paint. And still not quite sure what to say when someone said “So, tell me about the studio you’re building!” They were full of excitement and intrigue. I was full of horror and pin pricks.
It takes a while for a room like this to be built. Building codes. Circuits. Tables. Flooring. Paint color. Chairs. Cabinets. Ironing surfaces. One thing at a time. Agonizingly slow. Not the building. Just my understanding of what I was actually supposed to be doing with this. I married this man that believed in me so much that he was willing to make an actual investment in my own unknown. Not just in word, but in deed. Probably one of the most terrifying facts of my entire life. And that is saying something.
As the weeks anticipating opening the studio were bearing down on me, I still didn’t really know how to answer the questions. How to explain what I was doing, or even why. It came together so slowly- one little bit one day, then another bit the next day. Never all at once, and certainly never complete. Like a 3,000 piece puzzle in shades of blue with no picture on the box. Even with events advertised and on the calendar, I still didn’t know what I was doing. The final plan for how the studio would actually work didn’t come into place until a week before opening night. And I still didn’t know why. Why was it time for me to go? Why did he believe in me so very much? Why was this happening?
Then this happened.
Opening night. People actually came. And laughed. And smiled. And connected. And got inspired. And really excited. They brought flowers and cookies and chocolate. They traveled really far. They stayed late. They were happy. And at the end of the night, I finally knew why.
For you. So you would come.