I’ve been struggling to figure out what to say in the light of the recent US election result. The only thing I’ve been able to manage so far is an endless cycle of hopelessness, crying, and anger. And then questioning, over and over again, “How? How? How?”
I woke up at 3am and watched the results come in. I was working on an email newsletter, and everything felt so surreal.
“What the hell am I doing working on this when the world is on fire?”
It’s times like these that craft and art can feel unnecessary, even gauche in the light of the fear and unease that people are feeling all around the world. A crisis (and that’s what this is, don’t be fooled by those trying to normalize it) tends to bring into sharp focus how we feel that we’re falling short in our lives. This was no different.
I sat, endlessly refreshing Twitter, watching my British friends and peers wake up to the news that he had won. I’ve been sick, so I couldn’t even eat my feelings or drown my sorrows, which seems like an extra “screw you” from the universe and the hellhole that has been 2016.
And then something started to happen: my fellow creatives stepped up to the plate and offered what they had. Designers like Kate Heppell and Wooly Wormhead offered coupon codes for free patterns from their Ravelry stores, my music friends started talking seriously about writing and performing protest music to raise money for at-risk groups in the US, and people made it clear: we’re not just going to take this. We may not have much, but we’ll share what we have.
That’s a beautiful thing.
And then my crochet compatriot Emma of Steel&Stitch started the Make it Better Social Club on Instagram: crafting of all kinds, with a focus to be positive and active in our communities. Making it better, one stitch or project at a time.
Yay! First ever #makeitbetter_sc grid!! Sone knitting from @crochyayboxes & @gamercrafting, a pretty sketch pic from @isthabraq & @katie_helga’s (my twin sis, hi twin sis! 😀) dress making patterns. . Thanks for all the voting, working on a new multi-craft peace pic for everyone. . Keep posting! Anything that brings you joy, or could bring joy to the rest of us #makeitbetter_sc Em xxx
I want to throw my hat into the ring: I want to make it better too. I want to teach people, I want to empower them to fight within their communities, and I want to use my creativity as a positive force in the world. I haven’t quite figured out how I’m going to do that yet, but I’m definitely up for suggestions, strategy sessions over tea (and cake), or using what I can to turn this troubled world around.
Are you with me?