Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Professor's Homework Assignment: What Makes Your Heart Sing

I fully admit, I was not going to do this assignment. I'm in a dark place right now -- while I finally finished cancer treatment, a bunch of other crap has piled up in my life, & nothing is really making me "sing." I hear it's not uncommon for there to be a bit of a reaction after all the fighting to get through treatment, you can suddenly feel more easily overwhelmed by problems & unable to deal with stressors. Something about the fight or flight response finally letting up. Anyway.

But precisely because I'm feeling so down, I'm forcing myself to write about something that (usually) makes my heart sing. I've mentioned costuming plenty of times before, but what I enjoy most about it isn't the sewing (ugh, I kind of hate that!) or the research & design (which I do love) -- I adore being dressed up in costume with my friends. That's what it's all about. I don't make art in a vacuum. My costumes are a means to an end. They're part of what transforms me & the modern setting into the past or a fantasy where my friends & I can let loose & have a fabulous time. The so-called real world melts away, & everything is right, if only for a few hours. It's no coincidence that my husband & I met working renaissance faires. That's the kind of atmosphere where my heart sings & I feel closest to my higher, better self, the me I want other people to see & love.

Even during chemo, I had to go out to a few costumed events, & they were more energizing than exhausting. While sometimes creating a new costume can be daunting, the prospect of a costumed event with friends always perks me up.

me & my husband at Venetian carnevale

me & my best friends at an SCA event

me & my best friends at Colonial Williamsburg

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