Saturday, January 22, 2011


All my life, people have accused me of being a patient person. And then, they're surprised to find out that I'm a very impatient person. They can become very annoyed with me upon that discovery; I can't count how many times I've had someone say, "You work with things that take forever to finish; what do you mean, you're not a patient person?"

Because finishing is inconsequential to me.

I don't need to finish something; I just need to see change. I don't care if the change is measured in millimeters or miles; I can keep working on something for years as long as every thing I do makes it look just a little bit different. I've chosen this picture of the amaryllis in my window to illustrate the point; it sat there, doing nothing, for weeks. And then, all of a sudden, it's growing. I know, from experience, that every day when I come into my studio from here on out, it will look different. Every day, that stalk will grow an inch or two until the day that the bud on top splits open and flowers. The flowers will last for awhile, the stalk will no doubt become top heavy and tip the whole pot over if I don't figure out how to stabilize it before then, and then the flowers will die, the leaves will form, and it will be just another bit of greenery in my window. I was impatient for it to start, but I won't need any patience for the rest of its bloom period.

It's the same thing with beading. I rarely ever make anything that can be finished in a day, but even a few stitches create a very satisfying change in the work. Truth be told, I'm almost sad when I do finish a piece; I miss watching it change. I do wear jewelry - sometimes - but most of my pleasure comes from working on it and watching a pile of beads on my table become a piece of jewelry. I don't need any patience when things change so quickly.

And that brings me to the reason that I'm thinking about patience this morning. As you have no doubt realized, I've been alerted to the fact that I need to lose weight. That's a hard one for me, because change happens so slowly. I'm only a couple of days into it, and already I'm impatient for change. Shouldn't my clothes feel looser? Shouldn't I be dropping a size any minute now? Shouldn't I look different? Shouldn't I feel different? Shouldn't something have changed by now?

Well, no. No, not really. This is going to take patience, and patience is something I simply do not have. But I'm going to have to find some, and I'm going to have to find it quickly.

Told you I wasn't a patient person.

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