I don’t know what it is about this time of year, this season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, that makes me feel blue. When I was a kid, this was a time of excitement and fresh starts, a new school year, new challenges to be overcome, new shoes, glorious honeyed autumn light dancing in the trees. Maybe it’s a pitfall of working alone, perhaps it has something to do with all this particularly dreary weather we’ve been having, but this year all I can see is a long, dark winter stretching before me – ugh. It’s true I suffer from the occasional bout of – dare I say it – depression. It’s mild, thankfully, and not to debilitating, but still, it effects the way I feel about my appearance, my work, my ability as a writer, as a mother. I imagine (at least, I hope) that few people outside of my immediate family would notice if I was in the midst of an ‘episode’. Not because they aren’t close to me, but because over the years I’ve developed ways to camouflage it. I can still laugh, and smile, and joke around as usual, I just feel a bit… tender, is all. Quiet moments are the worst.
My making is a primary tool for avoiding melancholy, especially in those quiet moments. The things I make are always jolly, often silly, sometimes faintly ridiculous. I find it helpful to surround myself with as much colour and humour as I can lay my hands on, and although I often wish the things I made were more subtle and beautiful than they are – there’s nothing like a great big hunk of brightly coloured, cheap-as-chips yarn to put a positive spin on a crappy day. Buttons too, no matter what way you look at it, buttons are cheerful, and ribbons. In fact the whole field of textiles in general – it’s hard to feel fed up when you’re surrounded by soft, colourful, snuggly, wafty things, especially if you can forget about how good, or bad you are and just make, regardless.
What do you do to keep the blues at bay? I’d love to know.