I've been thinking a lot lately about the things we carry with us: the tangible things we create and leave behind, and how those things become what we carry with us in some way. This is a picture of my cell phone. I changed the backdrop a few years ago to the favorite picture of my mom. I carry it with me everyday so I see her face and as yet another reminder that she is with me.
The picture is an engagement picture that my dad's dad took of her. I wonder if when she posed for it, she could have imagined that one day her daughter would come to see it as the definitive picture of her and carry it around everyday. What was she thinking when this was made and the moment got locked in time?
I don't know- but it has had me thinking about the power of the things we create and what we leave behind. Though I really think there is value in working a corporate job and helping various stakeholders achieve success at a big level, I realized in the past year that I had gotten away from the me that created things all the time. Aside from the wedding, in the past four years before the blog, I hadn't created much of anything and my work, though in some ways important, had yielded nothing that I would call meaningful enough for a lifetime.
And so anniemade has become a journey of getting back in touch with me. Just in the months since last October, I find myself making things all the time and having the space in my head to create things that provide meaning to other people. And since I've been more aware, I've heard from dear friends retelling me the story of my life so far:
Do you remember the container you made me for my peanut butter jars? No, I'd forgotten- that was in college. Do you remember the box you made me that looks like a snickers bar? I keep all my favorite momentos in it. No, I'd totally let that slide from my memory since I made it as a birthday gift in high school.
Maybe most ridiculous (and great) are these dolls I made for a friend who was headed off to college without me. She just got them out after about six years. This is "Rockin Out Annie" and "Prom Date Harper":
So I say all of this because I have found a recharged energy for creating and creativity. There's a little voice in my heart saying that when we make things with great love, they stick with people - that we carry those things with us - and they have far reaching meaning beyond what we could have ever intended.
Mom made a lot of things herself and I know the handwritten poems, the clipped articles, the thoughtful gift baskets are still in people's homes and in their hearts. Though she is not here, they live on and will live on for I can't imagine how long. May I make such an impression in my lifetime. Til then, I carry all the things she left for me to find and make my own.