Sunday, May 16, 2010
after much chaos and advil, i delivered my husband to the airport this morning. i knew it would be pointless to try to make any meaningful art, so i decided today was My Day. now - talk about the monkey mind...the possibilities were endless...lunch with a friend? paint the bedroom? on and on. i took the long way home and at the last minute, made a sharp turn into the hardware store. my budgetary downfall! tool shopping is the equivalent to some women's shoe shopping. or fabric shopping. i love tools. an hour later, i was feeling a little more relaxed. i headed home, and stopped at the bookstore on the way...my 2nd biggest downfall. yes, i have a magazine addiction. truly. i stocked up and grabbed a few novels for good measure. the sun is warm, and a cool breeze is keeping it just perfect in my backyard. today would be an Amish day. i grabbed a short stack of magazines, and brewed a pot of Tiger tea...the spicy aroma calming. i could feel some tension releasing. Diva laying at my side...kitten curled up by the slider inside (on diva's hidey bed behind the chair). a few resin pieces curing n the sun. i read Jo's intro in the Where Women Create magazine, and knew there was Something Important that would happen amongst my cedar trees and rhododendrons this afternoon...something that needed the peacefulness of my garden to be heard. i read and read. and came across more than a few artists that i have connections to. and thought...I have had enough. enough of my job. enough of soldiering through each day and week, only to try to cram in laundry and groceries and housework and time with my husband and time with Diva and- oh, yes - time with myself and with my art. there ARE enough hours in a day. it's how you spend them. and i realized that if i continued to spend them the way i have been, there would be nothing left. i have given all i can to my job, and it has given me a paycheck, for certain. but it has taken far more away. i dreamed of re-doing my studio, and making it the sacred space it should be. and then the most coincidental thing happened. i checked my email, and there was a note from a woman who had reached me through this blog. she had seen the article in Crescendoh, and contacted me...would i consider making a memory quilt for her from her husband's clothing? i had stopped doing memory quilts for a while, after a particularly sad one stole my sleep. although i had said No More, i would, on occasion, make one for a friend. Coincidentally, I had just cleaned off the sterling and resin and beads and gemstones from my worktable, preparing to (finally) finish a quilt for my angelfriend. i had begun feeling the urge to work in fabric and fiber again. the woman said that her husband had died many years ago, and she just couldn't bear to get rid of some of his shirts and ties. she had hidden them from her children, lest they donate them to Goodwill. i told her i would give it some thought and get back to her later today. another email...a request for the same. the memory of a father, held in soft cotton workshirts. now, 2 requests do not make a career. but i've somehow always known that it gives me deep satisfaction to design, construct and present these treasures...i am filled with deep gratitude and am humbled by the trust given me by strangers that i will respect and care for their precious last ties to their beloved. i have never looked at my memory quilts as a business...they are far more than i can express. i know that i am able to bear another's grief. i know that i am conscious of the care that must be taken with each article of clothing, or each picture presented. i am also aware of my boundaries physically and spiritually. and i have never regretted making a single one. i sometimes don't know the recipient ... a gift given from the heart from one to another. but mostly, there are conversations and memories shared over tea, through email, or the phone. once i've opened my spirit to begin to accept the honor of making these remembrances, there seems to be a steady stream of them that find their way to me. never too many at once. usually one after the other is mostly completed. i like to focus on one at a time, giving it the attention it deserves. it often takes a few months to complete one...embellishing it with Lodge pins or beads or bits of lace or pictures transferred to fabric. there is no set formula or design. i listen. i follow the direction it wants to go. and there is often surprise and wonder in the face of the recipient "How did you know...such and such?" I didn't. i just listened to what i was told to do. this may be how i spend my days to come. it is a gift to me. a perfect gift. how will the bills get paid? i don't know. but i have decided that it cannot be with my spirit. so i will once again open myself to the possibilities that art may just save me again.
at 3:09 PM