For some reason, various things today (including this brill post from Ottermatic) have put me in mind of an old story.
A couple years back, I found my way to a spring retreat with a sort of non-denominational pagan spiritual community (that I really adore). I've only been twice, but sometimes that's all you need to feel connected, I guess. (And wow....the stories. But I digress.)
One of the elements at every retreat is some sort of craft project (I know, so cool!); the first time I went, we were creating a "spirit flag," which was intended to be some sort of representation of ourselves or some element thereof. Everyone got a white square of cloth and a bunch of various materials with which to create this flag. Some people painted theirs, some people sewed, some drew...the flags were diverse and gorgeous.
When I sat down to make mine (mere hours before the ceremony where we needed to have them complete), I predictably gravitated to my favorite colors....pink and black. I scrounged through the materials available and found some pipe cleaners (one of my absolute favorite things to work with), some interesting scraps of a funky hot pink and purple brocade, some black cloth, and a little wicker pentacle. I started working these things into a pattern on the cloth, and soon decided, as I created little pipe cleaner spirals and little brocade star shapes, that my flag was going to be round. I cut the edges into a circle shape.
When I finished cutting the circle, I realized that I needed to back the flag so it would hang properly, as the white cloth itself was really too flimsy to hold the stuff I was sewing on. I cut a black cloth circle to sew on the back - which had the added benefit of hiding all the knots from attaching everything else to the flag. I was nearly done sewing on the backing - just six inches left! - when I realized I wasn't going to finish it in time for the ceremony. I also recognized that I would need some way to hang the flag, since it wasn't square like all the others. Thinking quickly, I sewed a ribbon on as a hanger, and then tucked the needle and thread I was using inside the pocket formed by the front of the flag and the black backing material, so I could finish the flag later.
That was when a friend pointed out to me that I'd just made a purse, instead of a flag.
And so...without realizing it, without consciously trying to really be different, I wound up entirely doing my own thing. I was the odd man out, as usual, because....well, I'm just not like other people. I don't mean to be a freak. It's just my nature.
Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.