Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Linoleum Homestead

There seems to be a direct correlation between my escalating descent into a world where making is tantamount to breathing and my compelling desire to leave urbanity for a rural existence. I long for space, solitude, time to experience and experiment. How wonderful it would be to whittle away the daylight hours baking pies, crocheting pies, wearing pies...Ahem. Yep, I am ready to leave the hectic pace of my current existence behind, flee the 9-6 toil of cube farm life, shed the confines of my multi-family abode and head out to more sparse pastures, far, far away from the urban topographic maze I currently inhabit. I want to have the space and time to just live and breathe and relax and work with my hands. This is what I call bliss.

You see, I am an individual who finds great joy in mundane, repetitive activities that bear fruits. The shine of the kitchen counter surface after buffing, the diminutive band of stitches dotting the hem of a garment freshly sewn, myriad interconnected loops composed with needles, hook and hands, fleshy, yeasty dough coaxed into mound by kneading, wool loosed into a thin veil and drawn into an endless pirouette about the bobbin of my spinning wheel while treadling. As I said previously, to have the time to dedicate my day to such circumstance would be nothing short of my own personal heaven, but alas, such is not my lot in life. For better or for worse (depending upon my mood), I find myself the epitomical urban career girl, days occupied by a barrage of emails, memos, meetings and conference calls, only to find retreat in the hour long snippets of crafting during my lunch hours. For me, the bulk of my creative freedom happens after the sun has set, when the sky has dimmed and the city is slumbering.

Although I long for wide open spaces and the time to devote to my creative freedom while the sun is high in the sky, I will tell you that, for the most part, I have come to terms with my current living, working and creating lifestyle. I actually do rejoice in the mostly successful urban homestead that I've created. Sure, our condo is cramped. I have frame looms adorning the living room walls and spinning wheels dotting the floorscape. My butter churn is small by necessity, but quite mighty nonetheless. I don't have the room for any fuzzy barnyard buddies, but we do cohabitate with our share of friends hailing from the animal kingdom, as will most likely always be the case. But the best part of my urban homestead existence is the fact that I have lots of opportunities to expand my crafty and culinary frame of reference due, in large part, to the fact that I live in an urban area ripe with resources. Knowledgeable friends and acquaintances, classes and workshops galore all enhance my artsy, craftsy and cooksy skill sets and although I voice my share of complaints about the fact that I am, for all intensive purposes, the main breadwinner at ChezLinoleum, my income affords me the luxury to experience and experiment with much of what the crafty world around me has to offer.

So for the moment, my exodus from urbanity to all things rural is but a dream. In the meantime, I shall fill my urban nights and weekends crafting it up to the best of my ability, attending my weekly SNB meetings, taking classes at the Urban Craft Center and the Sewing Arts Center, teaching the uninitiated how to wield hook and needles at Abuelita's Knitting and Needlepoint and hey, I may even engage in a cooking class or two. Then, when the time comes for me leave the bright lights of the big city for a less populated locale, I'll be ready to soar in my new environ, my crafty bag of tricks overflowing. For now, I'll keep the dream alive and imagine a future filled with spinning wheels, butter churns, homemade cheese, lots of yarn and a feelings of utter fulfillment. Wait, that last statement characterizes my current lifestyle! Okay, absent the cow and pasture and sparse country lane. I guess I can live without those other things...for now.

6 comments:

Lady Euphoria Deathwatch said...

Hi Lady Linoleum,

I have had both worlds and am currently living the rural life. And I have to say that I've never had less time to craft as I do now. And that includes having a house full of kids back in the day. Rural life comes with a whole lot of work.

To tell you the truth I'd rather be in your shoes some days.

Sincerely, Lady Euphoria

Goldibug said...

I love your crocheted items! I especially love the look of the ear flap hat in the crochetme magazine. I need to subscribe to that! Do you have any more pics of the hat? It's so gorgeous!

book wench said...

hallelujah! i'm in the same boat!

joymama said...

I left a big city in TX for a small city in OR 10 months ago and my gosh it's been awesome! My life has been so much easier not to mention the cost of living going down. Art and creativity are awesome in Eugene. Come check it out.

Claire said...

I feel your angst. I was in that situation until February 2008, when I moved outside of town onto 8.5 acres. I still work in an office every day, practicing patent law and being at the mercy of a telephone and having a hectic meeting schedule, and I do have a longer commute now, but I come home to utter bliss (and hard work in the barn!) and I love it. It is possible to bridge the gap between the worlds. The only thing is, it really does make it that much harder to actually get in the car and go to work when the sun is shining, the chickens are playing, the goats stare at me longingly, and my heart aches to play in the pasture all day. But without the work, the farm would not be, so I keep things in perspective.

CharacterGirl said...

Yes, yes and yes!! And oooooh, you know how to make cheese??

You are a complete marvel!