Sunday, December 13, 2020

Game Ghastly, Artistic Cheer, Architect Update

I wrote a few weeks ago in my Gloom Train post that I was taking grim pleasure in playing stoic outcast Geralt in The Witcher 3. I fired the game up again this weekend and started playing through the story of the Bloody Baron, who is a morally complicated man to say the least. Part of the story involves a monster that is so horrible, so terrifying and revolting, that I don’t even want to name it here in fear that you will look it up and have nightmares. Just reading the Wiki about it was horrifying enough, but the “real” creature in game was...well let’s just say I will never forget it. And I have slain giant rabid bears in Tomb Raider. I do not know what sort of demented human beings they hired for game design, but I think they were recruited directly from Satan’s HR department. I wouldn’t even tell Mr. Typist the truth about it when I threw my headphones off in revulsion and declared I was terror-quitting. He is playing The Witcher also, but he’s fairly far behind me. He’ll find out soon enough and may God protect him.

I never go anywhere anymore except work and the local grocery store. I tried to go to Joanne's about a month ago for red yarn, which is somehow missing from my expansive yarn repertoire, but there was a line outside because of people-in-the-store limits and I was not willing to wait outside in the bitter cold. I know we’re in a pandemic but I resented my freedom of movement being restricted in such a way and I decided that going to Joanne’s would just not be a part of my life anymore. However, I needed something this weekend to complete a craft project that I am determined to finish by Christmas (it’s a gift), so I emotionally steeled myself to go wait in line outside. It required patience, something I have less and less of these days. But the wait was tolerable, and eventually I got in. I was surprised at this simple visit’s mood-boosting properties. Just walking around the aisles looking at all of the materials and imagining the projects I could do and the cool things I could make cheered me up quite a bit. Since the pandemic, I’ve been very disconnected from my creativity. Everything has narrowed down to a tunnel-vision focus on survival and coping, and there has been no room for “extras.” Although I don’t actually consider engaging with one’s creativity an extra, the hard reality is that in time like these, it’s a mental and emotional luxury. At any rate, the visit was strangely relaxing. It smelled sweet and there was lots of pretty colored glass that I have future plans for. (FYI, the piece pictured here is not my project. I can only dream of that level of talent.)

I dove back into The Fountainhead this week after some time away. It continues to take my breath away. It’s very slow-going because I have to stop frequently, put it down, and process what I read. Sometimes I also have to grab my notebook and jot down thoughts and feelings because my system gets overwhelmed and flooded with emotion. And sometimes I just have to put it down to let the beauty of a passage resonate within me. It’s an experience that I haven’t had reading a novel in as long as I can remember. Over the last few years, reading has become simply recreational amusement for me. But The Fountainhead is forcing me to engage with all of my senses, and is far more of a commitment than an amusement. But it’s a commitment I’m willing to make, especially if the payoffs continue. I go back and forth on Rourke, but this week at least, I find myself admiring his spirit of rebellion and refusal to bow to down to anyone’s artistic authority. The other architects are architecting. I’ll keep you posted.

In the spirit of reclaiming our creativity, here is fun montage of some gorgeous and innovative embroidery projects. Enjoy and be inspired!

--Kristen McHenry

1 comment: said...

Everyone needs to read The Good Typist!