Craft

Just after New Year’s one of the blogs I follow, Witchy Rambles, was discussing how rather than select a resolution she selects a word for the year. I really gravitated to that idea. A couple days later I was hit with a word, craft. I think for me that is a great word to think about and work on for 2014.

Here’s what good old Webster’s has to say about it: Craft- 1. A special skill or art 2. an occupation requiring special skill 3. the members of a skilled trade

For me there is a lot of craft to work on in my life. Of course there is religion.  Many of my readers would say that craft is a part of their religion, and of course that comes from the term witchcraft. I do not call myself a Wicca, or really even a witch, but I do some spell work, and I have a lot to learn. I also spent last year being a bit distant from my spirituality and would like to reconnect with that. Therefore I would like to hone my religious craft, which for me is solitary, eclectic, metaphysical paganism with a strong leaning toward Eastern religions, particularly Hinduism.

I see my profession, teaching, as a craft. Although I am constantly re-evaluating lessons, changing activities, and refining lectures there is more I can do to better my teaching craft. I have identified a bunch of things to retool, and hope to make some strides within the year. I am also writing a textbook, so I have to call upon the craft of writing as well, which is something I struggle with. Honestly, I write this blog in an attempt to both connect to my spirituality and work on writing skills. It really helps to write on more creative topics as a break from academic ones.

I am a choreographer, and that is definitely a craft. Because I choreograph so much that craft often feels more like a chore. I have actually had to call a five month break with my company because after doing a huge show I need a little breather both to work on other non-dance projects and let my thoughts incubate around the company’s next big show. But I want to reconnect with the beauty of crafting choreography. It’s one of my truest and longest loves. It is time to breathe some new life into that craft of mine.

In addition to contemporary dance I also fire dance, both solo and with my company. However, I feel I have gotten stale. I need some new moves. It’s also time I learned something besides poi, so enter the hula-hoop. It is going to take some serious work and practice of the hoop craft to get those skills up and ready to light on fire. Not to mention be good enough to perform at events for which I am being paid. Time to hone that craft.

Because I need to get away from dance and choreography (I’m actually a dance professor, so dance really is a very huge chunk of my life), I’m picking up a new yet old love, figure skating. Yes, in my head figure skating is a craft, and it definitely is a special skill! About ten years ago I began adult skating lessons and fell in love with it. In a year I got pretty good and could even do some jumps, spins, and combo moves. Then I moved to go to grad school. Ten plus years later and I am just now getting back on the ice. Yesterday I officially registered for classes and I am so excited. When I opened up the old skate bag and pulled out my skates the energy that came out of there was amazing. You can bet I will put my pagan spin on ice-skating when we hit either “F” (figure) or “I” (ice). During all those years of grad school and career I have never stopped yacking about figure skating. And of course I follow it big time. I even got to go see nationals in 2010, but I digress. Anyhow, skating is a new/old craft for me, and I can’t wait to see where this goes.

Last but not least, I am a crafter. I love to make jewelry and costumes. Of course the bulk of my energy goes to making costumes for my dance company, but I want to refocus on the jewelry, which also has a special place in my heart. This year will also be the first year that my hubby and I head up the annual art car project. For the past few years we have worked on a team to build an art car for the huge art car parade we have here. This year it will be all our vision and craftiness. Sweet.

The other craft I love is My Little Pony rehabilitation and customization. I love those little guys and have kind of gone off the deep end into MLP madness. You can check out the depth of my insanity if you dare here…. But now it is time to get back to the jewelry and get that art car up and running while also making new discoveries about my beloved ponies.

I think it’s important to think about craft and it’s place in our lives. I feel craft has a tight connection to spirituality, and it allows us to develop our brains and connections, whether those connections be to humans, ourselves, religion, or even an object or tool.

So how about y’all? Do you have a word to inspire you throughout the year? Or do you have a special craft you practice or want to learn? I’d love to hear what you’re up to!

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