Monday, December 06, 2004

hitting my marks

Well, for one thing, I have finally finished my sock monkey.

You see, I started him, oh, I dunno, nine months or a year ago? I threw a party, when I still rented a studio in the dojo and had the space to craft with other people; a guy I'd met online came over and taught half a dozen of us how to make sock animals. We sat at two long tables pushed together, covered in socks, embroidery floss, polyester stuffing, and buttons. We ate snacks. I got everything done but one ear, and sewing closed the feet. And then we had to clean up and get out; I was going to a show, Snufkina had to get home, our sock monkey maestro had evening plans. I had the second ear all cut out. I told myself I would sew it on when I got home that night from the theater.

I'm not sure I made it home that night. It's entirely possible I slept in AX's nice warm apartment, or in the grotty child-infested Mission flat I inhabited for a mere three months, I don't remember. What is certain is that when I consolidated my life into one space, the wonderful Spaceship (which now, finally, boasts an honest bed, but that's another story), my monkey made the trip with just one ear, and the real danger of losing the fine muscular definition in his legs as a result of polyester batting attrition. He's been sitting on one of my bookcases ever since, a mute testimony to my congenital disability to finish the things I start.

For a while, I made things even worse on myself: I have a somewhat Thelemic affirmation that I painted on a sheet of paper and tried to tape to the door. Every single THING is a manifestation of will, it reads, What is your WILL? I was trying, when I wrote it out, to remind myself that I am the only one around here responsible for kicking myself in the butt and making things happen. But in my usual fashion, I didn't stretch the paper before I painted it, and the warping from the water made the paper buckle and ripple and become generally unstickable using the advanced adhesive technology I was trying to employ (Blu-Tak) and I ended up propping the sad, wrinkly thing up on the bookshelf, against the monaural sock monkey.

You see the problem. A half-baked sock monkey next to an ineffective sign about getting stuff done. Sitting directly across the narrow hallway from the bathroom, the door of which I usually leave open if I'm alone in the Spaceship when I'm, you know.

One of my many, many self-help books--probably about not being a helpless clutterbug (first rule: stop accumulating books about how not to clutter)--suggests that if you have even a little project hanging fire, it's going to add to your overall sense of helplessness. Finish that one little project, the helpful author (who is probably one of those folks who gets all the laundry folded straight out of the dryer, and sends thank-you notes the same year they receive a gift, and never runs out of toilet paper, stamps, jam, safety pins, or wholesome goodwill towards all people) tells us, and you'll start to feel like you've got a grip.

So the other day, feeling sad and sore and a little overwhelmed, I got out a needle and sewed the ear on. With the red embroidery floss still in the needle from when I was working on my bellydance belt because I was afraid if I stopped to look around for lavender thread, I'd forget what I was doing and end up taking a nap instead. You can't see the red thread in the photo because I have cunningly placed the sock monkey with the new ear away from the camera, but I assure you, it's there. The whole ear is, in fact, significantly lower than the first ear, and the stitching on the feet looks like a four-year-old did it, but come on. This is not haute couture.

What it is, is finished. And I am feeling a little better, really.

Even if the ear is on backwards.