Stay Home and Craft!

Hello! We’re still in a pandemic here,
so stay home and CRAFT!

It’s strange that it took a pandemic to enable many of us to remember that we like to bake and knit, garden and sew. Of course some of us had new found time on our hands and the surreal  luxury to “slow down” while all around us tragedy seemed to speed up.  Getting in touch with your mortality can remind you of what being mortal is all about: connection, care, creating.

But we humans have always been drawn to craft, to MAKING. Cooking, crocheting, quilting, scrapbooking, gardening, moving rooms around, building houses, planning parties and worship services…. You name it, we like to make it. 

Even when we are in our digital realms, we MINECRAFT.  The best realm in the world for a human of any age is a sandbox space– open-ended play space where we can make our reality out of what we find around us.  Cause crafting is playing.  Reimagining something into being using what is available to us. It could be some old wool and wooden needles or fancy pants yarn and Addis; it could be a pantry full of tasty things and a stock pot;  it could be some found objects or recyclables; or just a mound of dirt and some seeds…

Maybe it was less about an increase in time that nudged our crafting identities, but more a deep need to transform something. Because the curtains covering the chaos of our deeply wounded world were being pulled back, torn asunder. And we did not like seeing what we were seeing, feeling what we were feeling. All the worse still as many of us realized what was behind the curtain had been there all along. And so, while we took to the streets, the internet, the phone, the email, the voting booths, and every other possible avenue we could safely (and not so safely) take to make our outrage, grief, and disgust known, we also had to do some healing. The world out there was not wishing to change or be changed any time soon. And we needed to see and know change. So we grabbed the yarn, the wooden spoon, the hammer, the shovel, the dirt, and we re-membered ourselves. Remembered our ability to adapt and transform. To pick up tools and change things. To craft.

Dven as our crafting has sustained many of us through these difficult times, we have to return to the reality that inspired it. We must not forget that crafting is not just about physical things we can touch and alter by using tools. But crafting is also about reimagining the world we live in–the ways we connect as community, the ways we tend to one another. 

2020 taught us a LOT and we are still recovering from all that edumaficcation. For many, 2020’s teachings were not new, but long known, painfully  lived truths.  But what do we do with the knowledge, whether new or old, of a very broken world?  We do what we humans do. Have always done:

We pick up the pieces, and our tools, and craft something new.
Craft something to keep our hands busy while we grieve or plot. 
Craft a new way of being in the world. Craft a way of being in the world that is more sustainable and equitable for all. 

We can craft alone or with a partner. When we can, I hope we find ways to craft together in community–virtually until its safe to be in person. 

Because CRAFTING A BETTER WORLD is always better done TOGETHER.

Illustration by Rik Lain Schell

Going Further: Ideas for Exploring/Sharing this Video

To more personalize this video within your community/faith/group context, you might want to explore some of these questions (with your group or to inspire other aspects of your activity/program/gathering):

  • What, if any, craft/hands-on activity has sustained/is sustaining you during this time? What about it do you find most comforting? What about it is challenging?
  • Think about your preferred craft or hands-on/non-digital activity as a metaphor for tranformation and systems change. What about that is helpful? What is problematic or not helpful?
  • Do you do this craft alone or have you found ways to safely share it with others?
  • What issues/struggles/problems/conflicts in your family/community/larger culture are you most drawn to want to “craft” a response to? What about the idea of “crafting” as a metaphor for systems change resonates for you? What about it is problematic?
  • You could invite someone in your group/community/gathering who does a particular craft to share a reflection about it, how it has sustained them, and consider what it makes them think of in relation to systems change and/or larger ideas of transformation.
  • You could invite participants in your virtual gathering to be “doing” (if possible) their craft during your gathering/activity much like a virtual stitch group. This of course won’t translate to all kinds of crafts as some are louder/more distracting than others!

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