Lessons In Impermanence*

Do you feel that? It's in the air, almost palpable. It feels like unrest. It feels like I've spun the Wheel of Fortune and it's landed on Lose Your Turn or Bankrupt (cue the Wa Wa Wa music).

You see, I've not been sleeping well lately. My usual, blissful sleep has been interrupted every night for the last two weeks with thoughts, fears, worries, not-enoughs, never-enoughs and why-bothers. A happy life (or a good night's sleep) isn't served to us with a money back guarantee. Building something does not ensure they will come. Unrest happens and sleep doesn't. Pain happens and contentment doesn't. Self-doubt happens and a pink cloud doesn't. The world is influx and so must I be.

So I've tried to walk. To walk, one foot in front of the other and I've tried to stay present and do all the things, but it's hard. It's hard when your head is in a fog from not enough sleep. It feels familiar. I felt this for a decade. It feels like sleepwalking and I never want to sleepwalk again.

So I've surrendered to the feeling. This is the well from where creativity bubbles. If I can keep doing tiny things that have a beginning, middle and end, this keeps me walking and keeps me grounded. And when I find I'm being launched back out into the stratosphere, this is what tethers me. I know the trust-line is sturdy and eventually I will land safely back on the Planet of Me. 

My brain can only work in the literal right now so making a tiny chapbook was really beckoning me. 

Self-deprecating disclaimer: I am no book binder. There undoubtedly exists 1000s of book-binding tutorials that are better than mine. I'm just a recovering perfectionist who likes to make things.

Here are roughly the things you will use. I used regular card stock. I also used a rotary cutter with a mat, but scissors and any type of paper would work as well.

I counted out how many pages I wanted for my book (mine has 8 pages with a front and back cover), and from there, I cut the stock in half, folded them into quarters and nested them together.

Then I sketched out a template for my cover and since I am adding stitching with embroidery thread, I placed the template over my cover and used a pushpin to punch holes in my design for the stitching. You want to make sure the punch goes all the way through your cover.

Then start stitching.

Next, I stamped on my title. Or you could stitch your title. That would be cool as well.

Next comes the binding part. Re-nest your pages and use your thumbtack again to punch three equally distant holes. Take another piece of embroidery thread (don't tie it), thread down the middle hole, up through the bottom hole, down through the top hole, then back up once more through the center hole. 

Pull your two strings tight and tie. 

Since this is a book about impermanence, I just started the first page. Things will keep changing, that is inevitable, so I'll keep adding to it. I pulled out some paper lace I have stashed, some vintage carved stamps and walked into my first fear that's been keeping me up at night. 

I hope sleep comes before I get to the end of my chapbook. Regardless, I'll keep walking

*I have to give credit to my brilliant friend Spike who started this conversation about impermanence. Also, I lost this entire blog post once, so this is draft two. And the lessons continue.