Mary Towner is today’s guest blogger.
In between my shifts at The Spinning Plate working on Into the Forest, I’m reading a wonderful book, Ageless Soul, by Thomas Moore. Both activities—The Forest and The Book—are looming large for me right now. During a book chapter this morning, the two converged in an aha moment. The author speaks about “melancholy” being an important, and even positive, part of life. Rather than medicate it as “depression”, we can accept it as natural and work with it in several ways to achieve a positive result.
Wait—you haven’t really stumbled onto the wrong website! You’re still “in the Forest”; and here comes the aha moment. The two most effective ways the author recommends for dealing with melancholy are…ready?… Number one: spend time in nature; and Number two: surround yourself with positive people. Voila—Into the Forest!
Right now The Forest, as Connie Donaldson says in her previous blog post , is full of people tirelessly working toward its grand opening Friday night. The positivity is palpable: First, everywhere you look or work there’s another miraculous, gorgeous item recreated from miraculous, gorgeous nature. Then, you look around and think, “Wow—all these wonderful people!” In addition to my Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh friends, I’m meeting great new people, like Emily Squires Levine (a Forest lead artist), from the polymer clay community. We’re all so sorry Julie Eakes (the second Forest lead artist) can’t join us because of health reasons.
I may be speaking for other Forest workers when I trace my own motivations for volunteering. Originally I simply wanted to help out a dear friend, Laura Tabakman (the third Forest lead artist), with a gargantuan task; to be useful in a shared endeavor. But then the rewards started piling in—surrounded by all this beauty from nature (Thomas Moore’s first melancholy recommendation) and by good friends old and new (his second recommendation), all working together toward a project of beauty for the common good. You simply, in my opinion, can’t get any more positive than that.