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A Sisterly Inspiration
Category: Writing
Tags: writing content

As we were checking out of our hotel in Slovenia last month I cast my eye over the souvenir stand. Sitting in a wicker basket were a pair of hand knitted socks. Just before we'd left on holiday a package had squirmed through the letter box at home and, yet another, pair of hand knitted socks from my sister fell to the floor. The urge to return the favour proved irresistable. In the spirit of 'coals to Newcastle' I purchased a pair and sent them flying westwards with a suitably frivolus message in the enclosed card.

About a week later a picture of my sister's feet encased in her new socks came through together with a heartfelt thank you. We fell into chatting about my writing and her craft work. She complimented me on my embryonic writing career and I complimented her on her knitting and quilting. My sister knits hundreds of pairs of socks with elegant patterns and designs and, when she isn't spoiling her grandchildren, makes home made quilts.

She gives them away. For our house warming present she sent us a beautiful quilt featuring the state tree of Maine, a glorious pine. I've told her several times how beautiful it is and didn't see any reason why I should stop so I said it again. My sister confessed to having been urged to sell the things she makes. But she refuses for two reasons.

First the materials don't cost very much. The only real expense she incurs is her time but more importantly she said that if she began charging it would change the dynamic and rob her of the joy she gets in creating. Because she gives things away she feels free to express herself exactly as she likes, without compromise, with total honesty.

There was a seed of inspiration in what she said. While I have no intention of matching my sister's generousity in my writing career what she said about the importance of expressing oneself as genuinely as humanly possible, no matter what the discipline, has to be true. I'd spent the previous month puzzling over what sort of shape my writing career should take and my sister provided the final piece. Whatever comes out this escapade, good, bad or indifferent, it will be exactly what I want to express, without compromise, with total honesty.


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