I've been thinking for a few weeks now, that I ought to give credit where it is due: that's all of you.
In early 2020, I was the victim of a crime that has left me traumatized. The justice process took about three years to play out before the criminal was convicted and imprisoned.
It's truly not possible for me to explain how much I struggled throughout that time, and, still, I struggle today. I do all the right things: regularly see a counselor, meditate, rely on friends and family, and needle felt. Yes, needle felt.
Here's how it happened: in March of this year, I had to put down my dear, old, best dog, the dog who had seen me through all of this. I was desperate for some way to cope with his loss and all of the other thoughts and feelings in my world, and somehow the idea of making him from some of his own fur came to mind. I didn't even know what needle felting was.
But I was on a mission. I started researching and reading, and it didn't take long for Sarafina Fiber Art to pop up on a search. Boom. Seriously, BOOM. In only a few minutes I realized I had found someplace and someone to help me create him.
I naively thought: how hard can this be? I realized I needed a practice piece before I used his real fur, so I ordered a snowshoe hare supply pack (foolishly not taking the instruction on the website to start with a little less complicated animal). I can't even remember what that poor rabbit looked like. I knew I could do better. So I ordered a goat. My white goat had a beautifully made body and a handsome face, but his legs were about 1/2 inch long. Still, he was waayyy better than the hare. And the gray goat was better than the white one. Every time I finished something, I would give it away and begin again.
I keep going, ordering supply packs, and (you know) wool just about every week, venturing out on my own when I have an idea I think I might be able to figure out how to do. Sometimes, I think: I'll bet Sarafina has a video on making that kind of body part. I search and watch two or three that might be similar to what I am looking to create.
Then boom. Seriously, another BOOM. A month or so ago, I was thunderstruck to realize the wool, listening to talk about and thinking about nature and beauty, and the act of creating were allowing me to be in much healthier and happier places than I had been spending my time for the past three years. I was spending far less time in the past, in trauma and anxiety.
In May I felted Bogey, the good, old dog. I might do better now, but I like this one. His own hair is included on the chest. A donkey I made last weekend: he's going to be part of a Nativity scene. The wise men, camels, sheep, lamb and a couple of geese are already finished. A cluster of elves that I'm giving as little gifts this Christmas. I've got a long way to go as a needle felter, and every stab teaches me something. :)
I want you all to know this: you've helped me to heal in ways that I did not believe could happen. Your good humor, your guidance in the relentless pursuit of beauty, the feel of your good wool in my hands, your help in allowing me to create meaning have been powerful and transformative.
I am so very grateful, and I hope you all can feel the love I'm including with this message.