textiles · exploration · misadventure



Since this is the beginning of my blog, I want to talk about being a beginner.

I have been a beginner so many times. Being a beginner can bite.

I was a beginner when I got sober, when I started massage for a living, when I went to school in my 30’s for an English degree, when I started work for a publisher, when I was promoted to production editor. I was a beginning knitter and spinner, and still am a beginning fiber preparer, dyer, weaver, belly dancer, American sign language signer, and blogger.

Being a beginner is hard, right? I feel clumsy, scared, self-conscious, everyone’s better than me, or judging me, or both plus thinking other nasty things about me I haven’t even thought up yet. I think I’ll never get it, whatever “it” is. It’s hard on the self-esteem. I feel these things with this blog. I don’t know who I’m writing to or for, what to write about, where it’s going, or how to make it interesting. But here’s the thing.

When I started belly dance twelve weeks ago, I had a hard time just keeping my balance or going in the same direction as everyone else. Ten weeks in, the osmotic pressure of the new people hiding behind me forced me to the front, where I could see myself in the (full length—horrors) mirror, and I had to watch myself dance. Yeah. I know. We all want to look at ourselves from six feet away in a full-length mirror all the time. Don’t we.*

But my point (and yes I have one) is that, being that close to the mirror, I could see there were moments when I was doing it right, even if it was kind of pidgin. It was a lightening moment, totally joyous. And for me, that particular feeling only comes with learning something new.


*We wear cholis.  Four years ago I had a partial pancreatectomy that left a scar from my sternum to my navel.