Recently, I’ve been on a creative bent – knitting, making jewellery, making scrapbooks, planning books I want to write, editing a newsletter for parents of deaf kids (one of the NDCS regional newsletters) and so on. My sister and I have a shop on Etsy, which we are excited about. We haven’t put anything up yet but I think that will happen in February when I can buy more supplies for making jewellery. I’ve bought a book about crafts and a book about journalling (artists journals to be more exact). I feel inspired all of a sudden, I want to create things, to try new things. I even registered at Lulu which is an online publisher of books. Maybe I am jumping the gun a bit, but I feel that creativity is a good thing, no matter what project you are being creative on.
Most of all though, I have been pondering what I want to do with my life, what choices I need to make. I’ve always been a writer at heart, whether blogging, writing in my journals, reviewing things, writing essays and dissertations. It feels as normal as breathing for me – this desire to write and express myself in this way. Being passionate about reading and books no doubt has a big influence on me – my first experiences of my parents reading Winnie the Pooh to me when I was little, my first reading of Pride and Prejudice at age 11, the way that books have marked milestones in my life. I can associate memories with books – everything that has happened to me has a book lurking somewhere in the background, whether the book conveys a mood, inspiration or the learning of something important. I get lost in books, I am inspired by books, I am consoled and excited by ideas and words in books. Not all the time, but sometimes. When my manfriend and I move out of my parents house, no doubt we will need a room solely for books, dvds and computer games (for him).
I also love illustration, graphic art and photography; it all gives me inspiration. I am not sure what I mean by inspiration – maybe just a feeling of being uplifted, of being refreshed, of being spurred on, whether this means you are inspired to create or to just feel happier. One of these pictures is by Van Gogh – Cafe Terrace at Night 1888 which he painted in Arles. It is a beautiful painting to my mind because it makes me want to be there – to be drinking a cup of coffee under the stars. I’ve always found the colours he uses uplifting and the way he paints stars, round and white-yellow as if they are the brightest stars in the sky. This painting has always been one of my favourites, since the moment I saw it. I think I may have seen it in an art gallery when I was little on one of my family’s camping trips to France. Nevertheless, whenever I first saw it, it did touch something within me, and it is so hard to describe why something means so much to you. Maybe humans form attachment to things because they remind them of something or they make them feel a certain way, and they don’t want to forget or lose that memory or feeling.
My sister takes great and inspiring photographs – she loves photography. My sister inspires me a great deal, I think we bounce off each other a lot when it comes to ideas and creativity. The same can be said of my manfriend – we have long talks where I feel inspired. Again, I am not sure if inspiration is the right word – more a sense of feeling happy and that you can create things and do things that you want to do. I wish too that the people I love would feel more confident about themselves and their abilities. I stopped comparing myself to others a long time ago because I feel that comparison will only make people feel bad about themselves. It is more important to know that anything you make will be individual and important because nobody is the same and putting a new voice and perspective on things will inspire somebody.
I’ve also been thinking less about feminism and more about deafness. Feminism is important, and will always be important to me, I still yell at the TV and get pissed off with comments people make. I’m still endlessly angry at the injustices that people face all over the world. I get angry about double standards and how just because I am gender woman I am expected to be a certain way or act a certain way. But I also feel that being a deaf person is often more difficult than being a woman. It certainly makes a huge difference to the way people perceive me and other deaf people. It makes a difference in the interactions and everyday business of my life. Not because I am DEAF, but because of reactions to my deafness and the way that society is set up for hearing people. The feminist movement is made up of so many different women, from different backgrounds with different experiences. We need to come together and listen to each other to make a difference. How can I join in when there are no notetakers or lip-speakers? Or captions, even? Writing and blogging is possibly the only way I am going to get my ideas and thoughts across to people because it is a medium in which I feel most myself as opposed to public speaking and listening.
This weekend I’m graduating at York, then off to Scotland for a week to see my manfriends family and friends (he hasn’t seen them since October). I’m looking forward to getting away for a bit because I feel quite restless and in need of some perspective!