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The ups and downs of creative impulses

By December 12, 2017 Creativity 7 Comments

For those you have not already seen her on facebook, here is my new cat, Jenny. Already I have nicknamed her Jenny Tornado! I had thought about getting a cat to fill the void left by Ruby’s passing last July, browsed a few humane society websites, but had not done much about it. Then, by coincidence, a friend happened to be at the local vet’s just before I met her for coffee, and she told me they had one kitten left from a litter of three… I went down to see her, and 20 minutes later I happily brought her home. Serendipity! She is tiny – 9 weeks old, and can easily sit in the palm of my hand.

And yes, I admit when I walked into the vet’s office and first laid eyes on her, I thought, oh, she would be fun to hook! She has beautiful gray tiger stripes, areas of white, and a sweet black dot right on her nose.

But other than during my trip to Amsterdam, I have not posted much here, and have been a bit stuck. I really thought about this today, and I think a lot of the “stuck” feeling has to do with current events. I feel compelled to follow current events at this tumultuous time in our beloved nation’s history. While I try to limit my time reading the news (and watch only the evening news on tv), as a lover of history, as a citizen, and as a woman, I refuse to just look away or tune out. So I read several reputable newspapers in depth.

But what I read is so upsetting to me, I think it has really sapped my creative spirit these last several months.

So other than introducing you to Jenny, I would like to ask if anyone else out there in rughooking land is experiencing this, too?

The only other time my desire to hook and design rugs came grinding to a halt was after my sister died. For about three months, I just did nothing creative, and barely even picked up my hook. A friend whose husband had a stroke had the same thing happen – for several months afterwards, no hooking, and she reports she did not even miss it during that period. Slowly, in both our cases, the desire to hook and create gradually came back.

I still love going to my weekly rug group, and bring something to work on. I am looking forward to a four-day rug camp after the holidays. But on my own, my usual way of coming across potential designs almost everywhere I look, and hooking like a maniac just to see how things are going to come out is absent.

So here’s hoping Jenny’s high spirits and loud purrs will help me out of this period of feeling more dismayed and upset than creative. And I would indeed be interested if others have had something similar happen to them.

Sending you wishes of joy and happiness in this busy lead-up to Christmas, with a little serendipity when you least expect it. And maybe the national tide will turn again toward “liberty and justice for all”.


  • Janine says:

    Difficult times or times of illness definitely zap my creativity. Think of it as a time of rest. And I also find that I MUST focus on positive things to stay healthy. So, very little news watching for me! I hope Jenny brings you joy and ignites the creatives fires within you!

  • Jennifer davey says:

    Sounds normal to me Mary Jane. I definitely go through slumps when my creativity is lax. Maybe our brain needs a vacation? Perhaps spending time loving a new cat is just what the doctor ordered. She is adorable and i love the name 🙂

    Depressing things on TV and in the news influence me too and our little hooking group has been spending less time talking about those things that bring us all down (though I do feel certain we need to be informed and be active).

    You will get your mojo back!

  • Jeni says:

    Mary Jane., I feel the same way you do. Ilike we are all living on the tip of a cliff and and any time we will falll off. I find it very hard to do any rug hooking. I have to force myself. The joy is gone.

  • Lynne Fowler says:

    I thought it was just me! I don’t even knit at night while we watch tv. I don’t like feeling this way!!!!

  • Karen Larsen says:

    I have been stuck in the same way since the election a year ago. I have had to work very hard to pull myself out of the swamp. I agree that we must not put our head in the sand. Keep on going!

  • Mimi says:

    Oh, I feel it too, this lingering creative lethargy. There is such a dark cloud over the U.S. and it’s hard waiting for it to lift. Challenging times for sure but I’m ever hopeful that we’ll emerge better, stronger and wiser.

  • Judith Kushner says:

    Agree with all that has been contributed here, but one look at Jenny’s lovely mug and the nice photo made me want to take out soft colored pencils or caran d’ache to see if I could do justice to her lights and darks and beauty. Grabbing a different medium (or a new cat) sometimes helps to bridge the sunk feelings.
    Thanks, as always, for your blog, Mary Jane.

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