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.


The Purse of My Fabulous Self.

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.

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