“The struggle you’re facing is a test to see if you’re truly committed to the life you say want.” -unknown
Boy, does that ring true right now. Since the closure of Textiles West in 2020, I have had mixed feelings about the whole thing. When the Covid-19 pandemic closed all in-person events and classes for a good year and a half, we weren’t sure if there would be any recuperating our momentum toward success. And we tried with on-line classes and events, but it was a lot of work. And in the end, there were only a few people trying to maintain the survival of the entire organization. So, it was decided to close.
We liquidated what we could and donated a lot of equipment to the Manitou Art Center.
While on the one hand, it’s been difficult to see a dream I’ve dreamed for a while shut down for reasons beyond ANYONES control, it’s also been a bit of a blessing getting back to my own work. Things, ideas and projects i didn’t have time for because i was always performing my job as education coordinator for Textiles West.
I have tried to keep the spirit of Textiles West alive by personally hosting events once hosted by TW. I have received grants from the Manitou Art Culture and Heritage (MACH) initiative for Blue Hand Festival, an open and free community event where anyone can register and dye fabric/t shirts/clothing etc in indigo. Next year, I and some other artists will be pursuing more grant funded Textiles West related activities. And I teach my classes and certify members on the equipment at the Manitou Art Center. Some of the instructors related to Textiles West are at the Manitou Art Center as well, teaching their own classes, certifying members and hosting events.
So, what now? Well, as Jim Butcher says, “Keep going”. I have to remind myself of that, often. It seems so much easier to give it all up and look for a job. One where I go, do my job, leave it at the office and be done at the end of the day. I can’t say I have not been tempted. The idea of working restaurant enters, then exits just as quickly. As great as it was at the time, serving is not something I would like to return to. And serving is an actual job-one that requires patience, resilience, thick skin, math/money skills, customer service skills, physical skills, interpersonal skills-the list goes on. So, be kind to your server, they have a lot going on.
But when I think about it, truly think about it, I don’t want to do anything other than what I’m already doing. So, I’ll keep going, follow this path. It’s a bit scary, not knowing where it goes. And who knows what will come along. I just have to remember to be patient and persist. What else can I do?