Yesterday I was invited to give a presentation about my 101 Things in 1001 Days project at a Fair Trade shop. It was a little nerve wracking, for though I give presentations weekly, they are about breastfeeding or losing weight and this was about me. In the days leading up to it, my thoughts kept turning to the project, trying to sort out what to say. It’s a big list and a process of months – how was I to boil it down to its essence?
I came to realize, a sudden flash of phrasing hitting me as I was driving there and prompting me to scribble in my car before I paid the meter, that the project is an opportunity to reflect on the gap between our lives and our interests and ideals. We all have that gap, though of varying widths. Making the list is an exercise in discovering that gap: What makes us passionate? What calls to us? What makes us wish for more time? What ideals inspire us? Are those things present in our lives?
Looking over my list of goals I couldn’t see a common theme. They’re divided into categories, after all, and that fact alone made them seem like neighbours, not a unified entity. But I came to see that they, almost to a one, are about connection. Connecting me to others in the community, connecting me to my own strength, connecting me to the creative impulse, connecting me to the power of stepping outside a mass-manufactured life, connecting me to the Earth.
I used to feel fragmented – a wearer of so many hats, a woman with so many interests. Speaking yesterday crystalized for me the fact that the more I pursue this list, the more I feel connected within myself. The more I allow my passions and my ideals to fill my life, the more integrated I become.
Thanks to the necessity of focusing on the list again, I’ve managed to complete three of the goals in the last 24 hours. I wrote two of the letters that were on my list and I finally finished the list – adding the last goals to it. I’m very excited by the one idea in particular – it’s an embroidery project based on one of my ink drawings from Europe. I’m very interested to see how the process of adding texture to the currently two dimensional lines will change it. And I am also looking forward to the chance to revisit that moment of drawing in a focused way. The trip was incredible and I am still trying to come to grips with it.