Thoughts on now

Today I was suppose to leave for a short but long road trip to Hudson, NY to see my darling friend Margot and to attend the Sheep and Wool Festival. I had signed up for a Friday workshop and was all set to go when yesterday, the day before my departure panic set in. I spent the better part of my day sick to my stomach over the waning of my job, money, frivolity, the economy and too, the very long 14 hour drive alone in one day both there and back. So I opted to stay home and work on my very small collection of textile work that is being crafted by hand. My hands. And to ponder solutions, scheme options and spend some time quietly thinking over the future.

My sweetheart and I often discuss our dreams of growing our own food and living a sustainable life in a mountain cabin. When I attended Penland this past summer that desire became much more strong. Immersed in the very strong and supportive craft community in the Appalachians I found the creative home I had been searching for as an art maker in the big city. At 31 and knowing I can only go forward in this wonderful life, it is now that I hope to make up for over a decade of stumbles and slow soul searching by embracing and truly living slow craft and real, honest, sustainable living.

In a time of great economic hardship and crises, I believe that the solution is to pare back and edit out what we have over used, abused and overlooked. I believe the solution is in becoming self sufficient, involved in community and educating ourselves about what we are producing/buying/consuming. Where we were once a society reliant on independent agriculture there are now 1% of these farmers left in the US. In small ways big things can happen to reclaim our economy, our jobs and our lives. Some suggestions that I believe in are:

Buying local and seasonal produce instead of produce shipped from other parts of the world. Why? Because the cost of shipping apples to Chicago from Australia in January costs a lot in oil. Do we really need fruit in the winter? Our dependency on foreign oil is astounding and we need to be conscious of what we buy and consume and why. Growing a garden in the spring and canning the harvest at the end of the season is another way that the individual can and could reclaim self sufficiency. CSA's are a great way to have local, fresh, seasonable produce and supports community based agriculture and small farms. Riding a bike instead of driving when and where you can also decreases the dependency and connects a person to their body and being mindful of and reliant on the body as a means of transportation.

I am big on buying my clothes second hand, making them or supporting fair trade. I care a lot about where and how my clothing is made and I do a lot of research on slave labor in the textile industry. Knowing who these companies are and what companies do not support slave labor is important. Made in the USA is something I rarely see and feel if I did, perhaps our employment crises would be different.

For me these are my form of protest. My form of Occupy Chicago. I believe change doesn't just come by assembling but by acting and implementing. I too am unemployed and I too do not have health care but I believe that solutions begin with people like me and these are the things I am doing to promote change.  I think there is always a way no matter how hopeless or deep in debt a body is.

Here is a great lecture by Judy Wicks for etsy labs...Give a listen, and thanks Laura for telling me about Judy <3
Herron ClothierComment