Mourning a Masterpiece

We’re in the process of downsizing. We’ll be moving in a few months, so we’re starting the process of getting rid of things now.

Elizabethan DressLast week, my husband listed a lot of things on eBay. I had gone through the costume closet (yes, I have a closet just for costumes) and pulled out several items I was ready to let go of. Or so I thought.

One costume was an Elizabethan style dress with a fully boned built in corset. I was ready to let it go because I thought I had outgrown it. Turns out, with the weight I have lost lately, I fit it again, as I discovered when I put it on to model for the pictures for eBay.

I said to my husband then, that if this dress didn’t sell, I wouldn’t be sad. In hindsight, I would have been better off had I given more attention to that feeling. We listed it, and all the other costumes, at ridiculously low starting bids, hoping they would get attention. So when my dress did get one bid, I felt terrible.

I was so much more attached to this dress than I thought. I made it 13 years ago, and I earned the fabric by doing some sewing for a friend. She didn’t think the two fabrics would o together, but I insisted, and I love the result. I worked on it for a few months, and put a lot of effort into it, including cutting and filing the metal boning backstage during a show I was working on. I had never made a corset dress before, and it turned out really well. I even won an award for best costume at a Sci-Fi Convention later that year, narrowly beating a friend of mine who is also a skilled seamstress.

With the help of my coach, I realized that this dress is one of my masterpieces. It shows my skill at sewing, my creative vision in moving from concept to finished product, and my eye for detail. And, darn it, it looks good on me!

Now I am packing it up to ship it off to someone I don’t know, for a fraction of the material cost.

Logically, I know that I could make another dress. I still have the pattern. And, of course, I have the skill. Emotionally, however, I am mourning the loss of my masterpiece. Spiritually, I know that letting go of one thing often opens up space for more and better to move in. So I allow myself to sit with this grief, even if it seems silly, and hold the vision that something better is on it’s way to me.

Reflecting back, it’s not letting go of the dress that I mourn so much as how little I valued my work.



Comments are closed.