Wednesday, March 08, 2017

rooms full of memories and potentials

Some time ago, I packed up all my jewelry making supplies into plastic bins and crates. There's easily a couple hundred pounds of glass beads, pearls, semi-precious stone, metal, partially made components, tools, stringing supplies, pieces put together years ago (languishing on trays), Precious Metal Clays, and a small kiln. Now, all woefully forgotten.

Well, not forgotten.

It all sits in the side storage room, along with reams of paper, paints, fabrics, yarn, and roving. Staring reproachfully at me every time I go in to put towels and linens away. "Hi! We're here!! Make something with us?"

The creative streak that infused me, what now seems so many lifetimes ago, is missing. Art supplies, mixed in with old computer components salvaged to be re-purposed or transformed into new art projects, a myriad of knick-knacks saved as reminders, a couple boxes of writing (both creative and journals), shoeboxes of CD/DVD-R backups, and photo albums my Mom bequeathed me sit forlornly and in an accusatorial jumble. Instead, the supplies I've accumulated over 25+ years now feel like a testament to my failures.

Going into the side storage room is rough. Every so often, over the years, I make some sort of headway into cleaning and organizing it; an attempt at trying to move forward by building some space to actually DO something with the accumulation of years of potential. Occasionally, there has even been some minor progress in doing something with the supplies. And inevitably, somehow it goes awry and I (sometimes metaphorically, sometimes literally) back away from the room, breakdown (screaming, crying, or [other]), and hate that part of me a little more. 

Making things (beading, specifically. wearable jewelry or not) was once something I did in my off-hours when I wasn't sitting in front of a keyboard and screen doing other creative things (graphics work, Systems Administration, or otherwise), as a way to make something tangible in the intangible datastream I resided in most of the time.

 It was a sanity check for me, for years. Now? Not so much.

Lately, it's all become some sort of story that might have been true once, long ago, to another person who isn't me. I'm not even sure who "me" is anymore. Hands, cold and intermittently numb, a mind that doesn't even know where to begin or what to do with items it might possibly make.

At this juncture, I don't even know what to do with the supplies. 

Make things and sell on Etsy? Great idea! Except, I don't have a bank account and haven't been able to get one for some time (long-ish story), and unlikely to be a possibility for some indeterminable amount of time so that's no help. 

Locally? Urm, no reliable transportation, and not even sure where to try bothering people, not that I was ever adept at 'selling' my art/crafts/self.

Technically, the nature of Section 42 (LIHTC) Housing and my lease forbids having a business registered at my home address, anyhow. My State Sale Tax license has sat fallow, like the supplies, for as long as I've had this license. One cannot even, theoretically, register themselves as something as 'simple' as an Avon Rep. here. Though, again, not that I have ever been adept at selling much of anything.

I keep trying to figure out if there's someone I could just donate the supplies to, but considering the number of long, sharp needles, tissue blades (Yeah, look those up. Old, 9" razor blades used on tissue for scientific research or, in my case, polymer clay), carving /sculpting tools, a kiln that can fire at 2000˚F/1000˚C, and the tiny nature of much of the beads? Not a good fit for donating to schools or places with children. Nevermind that I'm not even sure how I would get that much (both volume and weight) art supplies to another place or person (again, transportation issues).

Even friends I once did those sort of things with have all gone on to do other things, have more pressing issues they're contending with currently, or otherwise have fallen out of my life. 

Not that I blame them. Whatever 'muse' or creative spark I seem to vaguely recall once harnessing has been long gone. I sometimes contemplate hauling all the supplies out to the dumpster, but (in a peculiar mindset) feel bad for the beads and supplies. They didn't do anything wrong. They deserve a better home than a landfill. (Again, not sure leaving some of that stuff out for kids to get a hold of, unsupervised, is a good idea, anyhow.) Stupid. I know. 

43 is almost here and I'm less sure of myself than I think I ever was previously. I can't even seem to muster false bravado most of the time. I don't even know why I write some of these things, other than perhaps, to remember I might have had a voice. Once. A long time ago.


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