Thursday, January 29, 2009

My hands really ARE magic!

I made 11 tiny books (pamphlets), sewed two ginormous (over 20 sections each) exposed spine bindings (w/mulberry bark "thread," which is quite a task), and am in the middle of prepping covers for 5 long/linkstitch bindings (then they will be all ready to sew up). That's all I did today. My teacher said he would cook the outer bark layers for me. It was funny to have his father come in and sit down and watch me sew and ask why I wasn't using thread to make it easier. I'm not about to say, "I never do things the easy way." My teacher brought me some tea today, so delicious: date and ginger. He was watching me wax thread and he said, "your hands must hurt" as I swiped and swiped with my thumbs. I hadn't noticed that they had been peeling and everything is raw. I take for granted how strong my hands are.

As always, I've been thinking incessantly. When I first got back a couple nights ago, I was writing on my computer and by hand at the same time and then reading my first journal entry from this journal that I started last July, which went something like this: "How do you ... how do you build trust?" And I just started crying and crying. Hyesun had asked me when I was briefly in the city for a list of things to do for trust building, to learn how to trust people more. I was dumbfounded, like she was asking someone who didn't know how to swim how to go surfing. Anyhow, I've been thinking a lot about the person that I've become and how so often I really don't like that person. Those days are hard to walk through. But I need to stop thinking that something is horribly wrong with me. Because there's no constructive living / learning from that perspective. My sister said, "you're not damaged, so don't think that you are, b/c that is the same as being it."

All the overthinking is confusing and boring me again. Back to the books.


  1. I can empathize. I struggle daily with the sense that I'm not living up to my potential... that I'm simply a drain on the world's resources... that I don't deserve the SO MUCH that I have. But I agree that if one lends too much credence to that type of thinking, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    I just read a book called Too Loud a Solitude that posited, "Humans, like olives, don't yield the best of what's in them until they are completely crushed."

    Well, hell. I want to yield my best AND be whole & happy! But sometimes it seems like the two are mutually exclusive. Poor Ernest Hemingway, who shot himself in the head, said, "Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know."

    Well, screw you, Ernest. By God, I'm smart and I'm going to be happy if it kills me! ;-)

  2. thanks for sharing. it helps a lot. i was thinking about it while making swamp paper. thinking about how overrated hemingway is, anyway. ha! then i started thinking about martha graham and that constant peculiar discontent that she said all artists feel. and how my undergrad history profs in a women activists class were not so excited about me writing about martha graham.

    olives aren't very popular in korea. i never notice until they appear somewhere and i realize i haven't had them in a while.

    i think you'll be able to be smart and happy and it won't kill you. and YOU won't kill you, either.


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