Monday, June 2, 2008

Crafting a life

"Each of us has the potential to craft our own lives with our own hands--actively, joyfully, and nonviolently, drawing upon the wisdom of our ancestors, striving for justice in the present, and fulfillng our obligations to those who will inherit our legacy."

So writes John Saltmarsh in his introduction to the amazing book, A Handmade Life.

This blog was born from my previous blog, My 45th Year, which documented my progress towards the following goals for my 45th year of life: finishing 45 hand-made objects, completing at least one 45-hour solo retreat, and biking 45 miles in one day. I accomplished those goals and discovered that the creative expression and community fostered through the blog were very fulfilling.

However, the topic felt limiting and narrow at times. Having moved beyond that significant turning point in my life, I now want to turn to expression for a broader purpose.

There is a definite cultural tide towards the handmade, sustainable living, local agriculture, and so on. And thus there are many blogs on those subjects. Many are inspiring and thought-provoking, and I am grateful for them.

However, there seems to me a dearth of blogs for people who are attempting to integrate these principles into their already busy lives, which may involve a 9-5 (or longer hours) job, parenting/caretaking duties, an urban/suburban address, and other responsibilities or constraints. Many of us aren't in a position to quit our jobs, raise our own food, sew our own clothes, and work for ourselves, for example. Not that that is the only way to live sustainably...but sometimes it feels like it is!

Through HandCraftedLife, I will share lessons and struggles as I attempt to craft my own life in accord with my own principles. I work full-time, am a parent of teenagers and partner to the love of my life, am a Ph.D. student, volunteer in my community, and have a rich circle of friends.

Although I now knit, sew (a little), grow some of my own food, can/dry/preserve food for the winter, and bike commute to work most days, I did not begin like that. I also live in an urban setting with a tiny backyard, not a typical back-to-the land homestead.

Please say hello when you stop by, let me know when something speaks to you, when you have another way of thinking about things, or want to share a related website.

Together let's create "a society where people are intoxicated with the joy of making things."


Molly said...

Congratulations Julie,
I love the evolute of 45th year. Looking forward to what comes of this venture. See you very soon...I'll be back by the solistice.

Nahoko said...


Anonymous said...

I love the book, read it years ago, have little quotes from it lying around.
wishing you well,


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