Welcome! I'm Ilene Johnnestoune, a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. Come join me on my wanderings, as I share my interests both within and sometimes slightly outside the SCA.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Finding the Happy

I sent out that I was looking for a topic to write about, so that I could dust off this blog and start using it again.  In addition to several very funny suggestions from a few “helpers”, it was asked where I find my happy and my creative inspiration. 

I have a hard time with quantifying what my creative inspiration is.  For me, there are two types of creativity.  There are those who are inspired to create entirely new things, original patterns, artwork and so on.  Then there are those, like me, who are good at taking existing things and applying them in new ways.  I am not inspired to sit down and create art.  My inspiration comes from seeing things and wanting to learn how they were made, then try creating it myself.  For a long time I thought that this did not qualify as creativity, as I looked at others who could dream up fantastic things and bring them to life and felt that what I do doesn't compare.  I have come to realize any method of creating beauty is important.  We need the dreamers and inventors, but we also need the people who can take their concepts then replicate and teach them so that more people can enjoy them.  Both types of creativity are important, and part of populating the world with beautiful things.  I guess you could say that it is all the beauty and wonder that inspires me.  Rather than a sunny day or lovely garden, it’s seeing a woven belt or an embroidered hat that fires my imagination and has me wondering how they did it and if it is that something I can learn to do.

That leads in to where I find my happy in the SCA.  One of my biggest sources of joy is the opportunity to learn.  I am fascinated by learning new skills and concepts.  It doesn't really help me with completing projects, but I’m really good at starting new ones!  I love seeing how everything connects together.  With every field of interest, you can look and see how the basic concepts build, then connect to more advanced concepts, then spread out to other areas and techniques.  All of this is there, but at the same time it can all be traced back to a simple beginning.

The other main source of my happy is the people I've met in the SCA.  I often refer to my Barony as my home, and my close friends as my family.  This is very much the truth for me.  The love and support and encouragement I have received from the people I have been privileged to know is unmatched by anything else in my life.  They inspire me to learn, to be creative, to be more outgoing, to be confident, to be patient, to be kind, to be generous with myself and my time, to explore, to be so much more than I ever thought I could be.  The depth of feeling I have for those who have made me part of their lives is immeasurable.

I guess you could say that my inspiration and my happy are all wrapped up together.  I am in love with learning about beautiful things, and sharing that knowledge with others.  I am in love with the family I have found, the people I have met, and everything they have shown me about myself.  I love being part of an organization that encourages me to aspire to high ideals, and that recognizes me when I do good work.  So much of what the SCA has become for me is beauty and love.  I have to say, I think I’m getting the better end of the deal.

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