Some of my best friends are fingers.When the mountain won't come to Mohammed, Mohammed must make her way to the mountain. People do what they must. I must do artwork. During times when being upright isn't in the cards, I have returned to my stash of techniques for fingers, learned when I was 6 yrs old. My American grandmother tatted and crochetted. My German mother knitted and embroidered. This is beside all the painting and drawing I did daily. To paraphrase my dear friend in the arts, Jo Gentry Haemer, about our era:
"Our parents taught us not to define ourselves by the culture we consume, but by the culture we create."
I don't define myself by the varying conditions of life. That IS life. When bad times come I am not a failure. In good times, I am not special. I am always grateful, period. I was privileged to have family members who helped me practise with my hands how to take hold of a life and make it my own. These were people who were used to making and doing for themselves, because they came from war and imprisonment, the Great Depression, and other hardships which taught them, along with their forebears how to handmake a life regardless of the terms. I include all sorts of vintage and found objects from long ago in my work as my nod to my teachers.
What can I show you? People look at the tiny bead crochet I employ within mixed media reUse jewelry designs, wondering "How do you have the patience!" My daughters have learned how to implement this technique, and true, you do have to stick with it. But here is what is so valuable about learning this and other manual skills. Only so much of living in a body comes from recognizing what to do (with the frontal lobe). Here's what I mean. You can see the dance the fingers do with the beads and thread, but there is no substitute for getting your own tactile and motor processes to dance this way!
When horizontal for prolonged periods, my hands are free to dance these beads along with mindful intention. I can still create the culture I inhabit, with purpose. What gives you purpose? How do you teach this to others?