The seconds slip by quietly, one doesn’t really notice them, nor the minutes. They are silent and deadly, their only usefulness in life is to mark the passage of time. When I was young - so many decades ago - I longed, as every child does, for time to move faster so that I would grow old enough to take control of my destiny. Back then, seconds ticked so slowly.
I had plenty to fill my days, boredom was not a malaise we suffered from really, but oh the passage through childhood, through the education system was tediously long while I dreamt of the excitement in my life when I possessed my freedom.
It came at last and I was off, speeding bullets had nothing on me. Life ahead dazzled and sang a sirens song. I followed where my feet led. Time behaved normally then and I ignored it, time meant next to nothing, life was for the now.
Now I contemplate the nearness of mortality and find that I listen to the seconds slipping by more often than I would wish.
I have written before on the adjustments to my life that have had to be made to accommodate the disintegrating body. New ways of cooking, a different structure to the gardening, the admission of difficulty in the craft department.
Ah well, I sigh, and dye the greying hair in turquoise and fuchsia pink, and treat myself to some lime green clothes.
Craft work of some kind has always been with me, embroidery my first, constant and last love. Along the way I have added crochet, weaving, spinning, lace making, tatting, porcelain and art dolls, patchwork, quilting, bead work, silk painting, and. . . and . . so the list goes on.
I have with reluctance put aside many of these as not being do-able anymore due to arthritic wrists, failing eyesight and other stupid stuff. Now I have had to face another farewell in the ageing life.
Those who do crafty stuff know about stashes.
Stashes are a little like those silent seconds.
‘Stash’ finds its way into one’s abode by stealth. One wanders around the fabric and fibre shops (and now websites) around craft fairs and exhibitions. Small distinct piping voices call from stands ‘buy me’, ‘no buy me’, and so more fat quarters and florescent fibre nestle in against last months purchases. A bundle of fleece (such a bargain) odd pieces of ‘found art’ (well bits of clockwork, bark and shell) 2nd hand tee-shirts, ornate evening clothes are smuggled in from the charity shops,(where else to find such colours, such lace work, such economical way of buying lush fabric) E-bay is a temptation too many(don’t even have to face the crowds).
It never stops. Because as we all know in our prime, when we are still cutting edge, time is elastic and never ending. The imagination weaves wondrous pictures of the new creations one will create from the ‘stash’.
Of course if one stops to think, the evening at the Embroidery Guild’s meeting when, the sadly deceased, former member’s stash is put up for grabs ( such bargains) should be the warning.
When on earth, with wrists and eyesight like mine, will I ever find the time to use the stash up. Some of it dates way, way, back to the 60s, 70s 80s and beyond.
What to do?
I could leave it for those who will have to clear up after me. That’s the favourite:) Or I can do the decent thing and try to clear it myself before my demise. Now this last is more difficult. First, I don’t know when my demise will be, I may well have another 20 years ahead of me. Second, I do still wish to create, I don’t wish to get rid of it all - so which creations should I focus on?
I have determined this year I will begin to de-clutter my life, but it is a daunting task. Books in their thousands, paper work by the tonne. My craft stash takes up a whole room, not a small cupboard - a decent sized bedroom size room.
I began, by discarding the ‘mistakes’, hmmm not enough, so then the stuff which once I had idea for but have since forgotten, still not enough!
This will be a task for many months I can see.
However I have emptiness in those drawers and cupboards - one problem I forsee is those empty spaces. Now honestly, any of you who possess stashes, which one of you can say, hand on heart, an empty space in your stash room is not a temptation too hard to resist. An emptiness need filling- doesn't it?
It is a sad farewell, I have enjoyed my stash, been proud of it, boasted on occasion, as we do when talking to fellow stashers:) and on odd occasion have just opened a drawer and run my fingers through the delicious textures and colours therein for the sheer pleasure of it all.
I am finding good homes for the pieces of stash which have to leave me. I won’t just abandon them. We had grand plans together and it is not their fault I am running out of that silent, deadly time.