90,000 Miles to Me
folded book hearts

10,401 Miles • A Very Crafty January

No more backdated posts, yay! Welcome to the present.

I hadn’t planned to stay at Mom’s for long, just through the holidays and then head off again, but it seems I’m hunkering down for a winter hibernation, and she is enjoying having me here.

I have never in my life had the opportunity to stay somewhere as long as I like and leave when I am ready. There has always been a plane ticket bought or a semester about to start or a job or something dragging me away even though I wasn’t ready to leave.

And right now, staying here is exactly what is best for both of us. Mom and I have had a lot of really good talks, I’m figuring out some stuff about myself and feel like I’m close to a breakthrough, and as a practical matter, having predictable wi-fi has been useful in starting up this blog.

Plus, it’s cold outside. I mean tushie-freezing, bitter, don’t-touch-your-tongue-to-metal cold. I don’t particularly care to be out in that, and don’t want to do a fast drive south to the warmth, just to be able to say that I’m braving the winter in my van.

There is a part of me that feels the need to get back on the road just to prove something or to live up to some arbitrarily stated goal or meet perceived external expectations. But those feelings stem from fears, and I’m trying to listen to the part of me that instinctively knows what is best for me right now.

That is hard for me, because it is NOT how I normally operate. And a part of me is afraid of this too. Afraid I’m wasting my time and it won’t make a difference and I won’t get anywhere this way. But I am trusting that it will be worth it.

Staying here has also been great crafting time. I saw a picture online of a folded book, and was like, “ooh, ooh, ohh, I wanna try that.” So I did. I raided our yard sale pile and then got more from the thrift store. Here are my favorites, which you can find in my Etsy shop, if you’re interested:

It was just Christmas, and Mom likes trees, so… (Don’t worry, she got her own folded book.)

I don’t normally get into hearts, but this one was a special request and the double heart above was a technically interesting pattern.

I especially like how the seahorse came out:

And this squadron of airplanes are made of a thick, 780 page book. That was a lot of folding.

Book folding appeals to my autistic love of precision, fine detail, and repetition, as well as to my creative side and love for books and paper crafts, so yeah, this is a good fit.

I covered the books with fabric and decorated each to bring out its unique colors or theme. You can see more pictures of them, especially the covers, on Etsy. I’m really happy with how they came out, and have plans to make even more.

Spending the time to individually measure and fold 300, 500, 700 pages for each book, has actually been incredibly meditative. I’ve decided not to put on any audio books, podcasts or music while working on these, though occasionally I’ll put on a nature soundscape—I recently found one of whales sleeping which is surprisingly soothing—but often have nothing playing, and let my mind wander.

Sometimes I’ll catch a word or a part of a sentence from the page I’m folding, sometimes I wonder what is going on in the plot from these occasional snippets, and often song fragments or scenes from TV or movies or events from my life will come up and I can think about them or just let them be in my mind without (for once) obsessing over them.

It’s been really nice to have this time to myself to just measure and fold pages, focusing on nothing but the quarter of a millimeter on the ruler and the angle of the fold. Just measure and fold. Measure and fold.

What do you find to be meditative in your life? Please share in the comments section. I’m open to trying new things now, and would like some suggestions.