Saturday, September 15, 2012

(Love)Craft Closet

“Having re-read Lovecraft’s Call of Cthulu, I conclude that the phrase ‘That is not dead which can eternal lie’ aptly describes my unfinished craft projects. Shall henceforth refer to the craft closet as R’lyeh.” My Facebook status, July 4, 2010, 7:17AM

I. Tell-Tale Tendencies
My house is clean. I keep the place picked up. I take out the trash. I keep up with the dishes.

But it’s all a front. 

Beneath that thin veneer is a seething mass of stuff straining against the burdens of tidiness, waiting to take over the house. I know it’s there, the beating of that hideous heart.

It’s called the craft closet.

II. Eldritch Things
I haven’t met a craft I can’t do. I see things on Etsy and Pinterest and craft shows and say, with perfect confidence, “I can do that!” I’ve dabbled in sewing, scrapbooking, beadwork, cross-stitching, painting, plastic canvas, things with wires.
Each hobby comes with its own unique blend of tools…
and supplies…
I have it all.
I admit this with great shame.

Other crafty ladies, or those who aspire to be crafty, see nothing to be ashamed of. They constantly tell me, “You’re so lucky.” I am. 

I am a talented, creative, artistic person. I have ideas. I see the potential in the mundane.

But in the grand tradition of those who want what they don’t have, what I have is creative ideas and what I want is to be organized and put-together.

I’m not.

III. That way madness lies
My personality tends toward disorder. I’ll jump into a new recipe without planning ahead, so that cooking inevitably requires every mixing bowl I have. I’ll scatter clothing across the bedroom looking for a single scarf and then decide it doesn’t match my outfit after all. A place for everything and everything never gets put back in its place. Knowing these things about myself, I routinely sort through my home, culling my possessions, carting off to the Goodwill anything I haven’t used in a while.

But I never sort the craft closet. To cull the unfinished projects is to admit that I will never complete them; therefore, the craft closet is an episode of Hoarders waiting to happen. There are piles. There are piles of piles. The supplies multiply of their own accord, like Tribbles made of cloth and paper and notions. I could lose a cat in there.

IV. Hyde and Seek
Poets wonder what happens to thwarted ideas. A dream deferred, I should know, festers in the brain not like a raisin in the sun but like a tentacled elder god, wrangling my consciousness away from me at inopportune moments. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by the weight of the unfinished projects of years, the unfulfilled ambitions.

When the guilt becomes too great to bear, the artist emerges, like a Hyde to my Jekyll, scattering craft supplies across the living room floor (and the dining room and the bed and a few chairs), but she’s broken, this inner artist. She lacks follow-through. I regain my senses amidst unfinished projects that I don’t have the will to finish, surrounded by craft supplies that I don’t have the will to put away. Bits of thread and paper and scissors litter the house for days until they can be beaten back into submission, imprisoned within the closet once more.

V. Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here
Other times I tackle the closet with the intent of killing it. I will finish these projects, I say, or I will throw them out once and for all, but whenever I open the door the wall of decorative photo boxes full of all things undone renders me a gibbering mess, rocking on the couch, staring into space, muttering obscure incantations. I don’t want to work on the projects, but I want the finished products. What if I throw out the supplies today and then I’m motivated tomorrow? This question fuels my insanity, the answer unfathomable to me.

VI. The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be
And so I leave the door closed.
I try to pretend the mess isn’t there.
I wonder if I could find some kind of holy seal for the door, something to drown out the siren call of things I haven’t done.
But I always know they’re there.

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