Monday, May 5, 2014

Ars Gratia Artis (or Living the Luddite Life)

I believe there is a monumental disconnect in our society with the tactile arts. I believe there is a tragic forfeiture of anticipation that has been supplanted with the immediacy of information. I believe it is strangling our creativity, our relationships, and our health.

What do I mean by tactile arts? I am brushing with a broad stroke, but in general I am referring to anything that is done that elevates and improves the mind. In this vein, reading a classic novel, baking homemade brownies, tending a small garden, and journaling with ink and paper all count. I am specifically excluding anything of an electronic nature (this blog incuded) in my definition, simply because the internet ether has become our modus operandi, almost our god, of late, and I think it's important to carve out time to deliberately leave that world.

For me, creativity flows in several ways. Lately I've been spinning. It's as if the incessant spinning of my life has sparked a need to reflect it in a more creative and peaceful way. The more briskly my world moves, the more I struggle to break free of the constraints, the more I choose meditative pursuits to practice.
My latest spindle spun yarn
Bottom Edging
Happily, I am now in the finishing stages of my Lily Cardigan now, too! The knitting is completed, the blocking finished. All that's left is to tuck in the ends, sew on the button, and then wear and enjoy!

I have loved every step of this swea- ter, and I'm already envisioning wearing it in air conditioning. Contrary to what many may suppose, Florida is definitely sweater weather for much of the year, except it's born of the necessity of living in cool air conditioned houses!

It is my hope that in reading this post, you may be encouraged to slow your steps for even just a few spare moments. Linger a little longer over a book (or start one you've been meaning to start!). Pull out a favorite recipe and prepare it. Think of the person who gave it to you. Doodle. Dabble. Dream.

Am I a Luddite? No. I love my technology (just ask my family!). But, I recognize the dangers technology presents that I don't regularly think about. It can be isolationist. It can be all-consuming. The potential is there, and I see the results not only in my life, but in the lives of my friends, my family, and my community.
So what will you try today?


  1. I love this post. It says so eloquently what I haven't had the words to express lately.

    If you ever start your knitting/tea/bookstore, I'm there! Just the idea of it makes me feel good.

    Zaldograce on Ravelry

    1. Such sweet words! Thank you! I will continue to carve out time to fight that counter cultural war by slowing down to participate in life, hard as it is! I'll let you know if that dream of mine ever comes true!