Sunday, February 8, 2009


Envy is an ugly emotion I struggle with. It never used to be like that, but I was influenced by a friend who envies, and from listening to her envying fairly constantly, I picked up the perspective. Around the same time, I quite my office job and faced this "art thing" seriously, depleting my bank account, so it became easier to envy.

But I envy selectively. I envy people who have lovely homes, clean, tidy interior or beautiful gardens, because I feel more relaxed in their environment than in mine. I envy people who can travel because I would like to do the same. I guess I'm envying their buying power.

I don't envy people who are slim and beautiful or are full of energy because in this department, one can only work with what one's given, and I wasn't given much to start with in this department except health, and I don't work as hard as I should. And I know this. By extension, I don't envy people who have nice clothes, but I envy folk with good taste in clothes, and those who have the patience to consistently present themselves well. I can't be bothered with my undertallness.

I don't envy people who are talented or successful in art because, again, one can only work with what one's got, and I'm in the process of finding out what I was given, and I know I don't work as hard or consistently as I should in this department, either. And I work slowly. And by extension, I don't envy people who get a lot of accolade for their art, deserved or not. I just don't like certain works of art, and love others.

I used to envy well-read people, because I can never seem to catch up, particularly since I started the art thing. I am a slow reader to start with, but I'd rather look at drawing and paintings and textile now than read. Or make things. So I'm not as envious, and I'm learning that there is much I can contribute in a good conversation not from having read things necessarily but having thought through something my way. I feel, in some ways, more mature this way.

I take full responsibility for what I do in my life, where I am, and even in my fate, some of which I don't create. I think I've become less envious as I've become older. Even if I envy someone one moment, I'd have forgotten in the next. I wished I could stop envying people for things I can't control for myself. I wished I could turn envy into a positive, proactive force, but I haven't found a way.

And I will envy you if you get a brand-spanking new loom of any kind, but especially a purpose-built computer-controlled one with 24 or 32 shafts. I'm trying to save up for that!

(And this is the second post AFTER the Etsy post, because I cheated with the Collingwood post!)


  1. I don't think that envy is necessarily a bad emotion. How would we drive ourselves to strive for more without envying someone who seems to have already achieved it? Especially as you seem to envy things that are positive rather than material.

    After all, I envy you your loom!

  2. Envy is debilitating and crushing and we are all subject to it, including yours truly. Envy has nothing to do with wanting to improve, it has to do with wanting more things, and more things (including more and better looms) have nothing to do with improving ourselves (or our weaving). I have wanted for a long time the loom that Dorothy just bought. I have wasted a lot of time with that desire in my heart. But at bottom, having that loom will contribute absolutely nothing to my development as a weaver. Indeed, having it would actually de-contribute (is there such a word!). Still, I know I will occasionally waste time daydreaming and envying........(grin!)

  3. I don't like that when I envy someone, I don't see them for who they are or what they do, but for what they have, reducing me to a shallow, simplistic person. And it's a waste of time, because I'm not doing anything to remedy (if it is remediable) the situation. But I have noticed I envy a lot from time to time. Depression probably has something to do with it, too. And that depression must be getting better, because for for the first time I was openly able to admit that I do this.

    I'm learning more about myself as I get older, not who I'd like to be.


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