Monday, June 2, 2014

On Karl Marx, Insomnia, and Poinsettias

Let me tell you friends. The best and worst thing about Sundays are the naps. They are so gloriously wonderful in the moment, but you later find yourself awake at midnight wondering why you chose instant gratification. In an entirely unrelated subject, I've been pondering lately on one of my early Sociological friends, Karl Marx.

Now, Herr Marx has been known to get a bad rap, but there are many rudimentary aspects of his theory we can all agree with. Essentially, from my memory of foundational Sociological theory, Marx championed an idea of the importance of "Praxis", which in a watered down explanation is the idea of planning and creation. He posited that individuals working in factories will begin to feel alienated from the human condition when they lose the ability to plan and create products themselves. I am probably leaving out huge chunks of information and theory, but that is the aspect that has lingered with me. With occupational therapy, we use occupation (meaning activity or functions) as therapy and in order to help sustain and create meaningful activities for those who have lost the ability to or would like to gain it in the first place. In other words, we help people become active participants in their daily lives. In my creative occupations class, we learned all sorts of new activities and analyzed the motor, emotional, social, and sensory aspects of them. One of the new tasks I learned is knitting.

I'm the one in the back left, looking lost, scared, and confused.
You must understand. I am not a "crafter". Despite what my mother insists, I have never been of the artistic persuasion. I was always the little girl in the corner staring blankly at the project waiting for someone to come over and do it for me. I am also intrigued by challenges, however and will stick with it until I have mastered it or I die.

Weird trapezoid-shaped beginnings
I took this approach with knitting. Within several hours while in class, passing any disasters up to my friend in the row in front of me to fix, I finally got it down. I took it home, and my knitting project somehow turned into a hot mess again. I endured however, and 4 days later, it's still blobby, but undeniably a knitted object.
My blobby knitted success
It feels so ridiculously good to successfully make something.To know that the world is now one blobby piece of knitted fabric stronger because of me. But for serious, the amount of pride and accomplishment I feel is immeasurable. I used to feel this immense sense of gratification when I would spend my days planting flowers and bulbs working on grounds, only to see them blossom months later. I harnessed a similar emotion in having plants in my house which grow larger and stay alive with my (and my roommate's, let's be honest) efforts. Especially my beloved poinsettia.

I can only imagine what it feels like as a parent to know you have created a human being. A whole world of potential is now here because of you. But, even if you're not of a current child-creating situation there is so much you can bring into the world. If you aren't crafty or artsy like me, you can still create. Go out and plant something. If you're musical, compose a song, record an album. If you're good with words, get out and write. Heaven knows we need better authors out there (cough *Stephanie Meyers* cough). Doggone it, put together a puzzle, paint a poinsettia, water color the moon. Change the world. #Marxwouldbeproud