Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Creating Beauty With Words
The deadline is coming up for articles for the fall issue of At Home On the North Shore magazine so I've been transcribing interviews for an article on fibre arts.
One of my interviewees is Deanne Fitzpatrick, Nova Scotia's Queen of Rug Hooking, based in Amherst.
Near the end of our interview, I asked her about her motto, "Create Beauty Every Day". Since I don't know if I'll be including her explanation in the article, I can't share her whole answer now but something she said did get me thinking about what it means to add beauty to the world.
"Create Beauty is just a way to make the world around you a better place, and the way I do it is through hooking rugs, but there are other ways I try to do it," Deanne said to me in her office at the back of her Church Street studio, "like by being good to other people and through the women’s clothing store – helping women be beautiful and believe they are beautiful. If you can keep seeing beauty and finding beauty and making beauty, those are important parts of having a good life.”
It was her idea that "there are other ways to create beauty" that made me realize writers create beauty every day. And while some books seem like works of art to me, I never considered writing as a way of "creating beauty".
Yet, when I think of the way some women have reacted to the essays in my book, the meaning they've found in certain stories and the reasons why they love my book, I know my style of writing creates a kind of beauty -- the kind that Deanne herself strives for.
My writing isn't edgy or in-your-face. It's not shocking or offensive, nor is it overly opinionated or bitchy (unless there's logging trucks around...) While I'm sure that has kept me from publishing widely in magazines and online, and been offered a book deal because of my "attitude", I'd rather write stories and essays that make people happy, that lifts spirits, that leave people feeling better. Like looking at a beautiful piece of art, if my writing can make someone smile and think, "Beautiful," that's the purpose of my work.
I hadn't thought about my work that way, that I find beauty around me and share it with others. I'm not a painter or a rug hooker or a sculpture so how do I "create beauty"? Deanne's idea made me appreciate that words are my materials, fingers are my tools, and the stories I tell are my creations.
So...whether you're scrapbooking, knitting, writing, cooking, gardening or hanging out the laundry all colour-coordinated, remember: You are creating beauty. Everything you do has the potential to create beauty. And as the 19th Russian novelist and philosopher, Fyodor Dostoevsky, said, "Beauty will save the world."