“Just Follow Your Nose”

2 Jun

Many times I recall hearing my mother suggest this–“just follow your nose.” Many times. Over the years, the meaning of that advice has changed.  I think initially — way back when — I interpreted it to mean “do what you want to do.”  Back then being when I was maybe 8 or 9 and it seemed that every THING in life was about me.  Ha. But slowly, her statement began taking on a different meaning. And over the years it has morphed into the understanding of the need to listen.  To listen to–and honor– my inner voice. I’ve grown to really trust it. It’s a strong beacon.  A compass rose.  But it can be very soft spoken and for a long time it seemed to conflict with the other recurring parental observation which was “oh, it’s just your imagination.”  Well, yeah. And so? But back to “follow your nose.”

Good advice.  Now that I really know what it means.  To “listen.”  To notice the recurring themes, the feelings in the heart.  To listen long and hard, and then when necessary, act from the heart.  For awhile now one particular subject has been arising–it’s one I frequently remove from the “shelf,” consider it from all sides, feel the result of making different types of choices, then put it back again.  I’m cringing at advice I’ve so blithely extended to others–“Just do what’s in your heart.”  As if it were that simple.  So there I am.  Or rather here I am, and this is what poured forth over the past few days. “Following Nose” (and for those who have asked, all photos can be enlarged by left clicking on the image.)

Following Nose

Following Nose


An Unexpected but instructive cloth. A process that continues to amaze me. Dreams have been informing my consciousness as well, more than usual–dreams of soaring, riding an up-draft so powerful it almost takes my breath. Here, the morning after such a dream: birdwoman So for now I’m watching and holding, breathing deep into my heart. Asking for right action to follow insight. Asking to move from my heart rather than my head.

Now, there’s something else. Yesterday I detoured to a yard sale that seemed to be calling me. On a table I noticed a bag of weird colored linen and when I finally got the woman’s attention–after her man kept yelling out “price check on aisle 4,” I found out that it was MORE than linen and she wanted $5 for it. It’s about 24 x 27 and it’s a needle point rendering she had stitched of the Cherokee syllabary. And it came with a bag of beautiful TINY beads and three completed beaded strands that are to encircle the needlepoint. For $5 I felt I had to get it. Have already torn off all the excess linen for something else and now this is what’s left:
cherokee alphabet

cherokee beadwork

cherokee alphabet closeup

I have no idea what to do with this. So if anyone reading this blog feels a strong need to re-purpose this work, comment on my blog. If there is more than one interested viewer, I’ll put names in a hat and draw one out in a week or so.

21 Responses to ““Just Follow Your Nose””

  1. karmadondruplhamo, (grace) June 2, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    Every word, every image of this post gives me goosebumps.


    • Patricia June 2, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

      definitely a goosebumpy day–uncanny–bitter/sweet–


  2. user107055 June 2, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    oh..dreams given voice…vivid and compelling…they reach out..it must be something to dream them be in/of them..it is amazing to me to be reading at grace’s..i was so struck by the words between you and marti ..the hand extended to pull you from the stuck place and then to come here this morning…

    (having loved the slug..and reminisced about the time i sat on a log outside of seattle in my beloved new amazing ly pale blue rain coat onto an equally large and very yellow banana slug….the rain coat was never the same..and i am remembering this 40 odd years later…)

    to be drawn in by work that is very beautiful and strong and personal…what an amazing late spring you must be experiencing …wow cynthia


    • Patricia June 2, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

      yes, Marti’s extended hand–wasn’t that the most profound image?
      and as for slugs, i’m not familiar with yellow banana slugs but that i can visualize the yellow/blue combo. pretty lovely.
      Cynthia, thanks for dropping by!


  3. saskia June 2, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    oh, the antlered bird creature is wonderful to me, as is bird woman, of course she is; what do you dream about?!?


    • Patricia June 2, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

      what do i dream about? well, critters for starters! i don’t know if this is a good forum for all THAT! i mean, talk about weird stuff….love to you


  4. Minka June 2, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    Follow-Your-Nose is a sweet little riot!
    The Cherokee syllabary will be real treasure for the right person….not me….but if no one claims it, we have an Indian Museum here that might appreciate it.


    • Patricia June 2, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

      oh, an Indian Museum. if you could ask? that would be so wonder full.


      • Anonymous June 2, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

        It’s too much to take in all together – save the needlepoint & carefully extract those letters that will fit some piece you’re yet to create – same for the beaded work – I wonder why she needed or wanted to sell something so lovely! She’s lucky you bought them.


        • Patricia June 2, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

          please tell me your name! i would like to ask you something!


      • nancydas June 22, 2013 at 5:45 am #

        If you want to donate it to an Indian museum, the Cherokee historical museum in Tahlequah would be a good place.


  5. Marti June 2, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    What an incredible and special find. How could anyone part with this. When I lived in Tennessee I visited the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore, TN. Sequoyah was the Cherokee leader who created the syllabary. He was born in 1776 and died in 1843. Besides this incredible gift to the Cherokee nation, he also served as statesman and diplomat. If I were to receive this, I wouldn’t re-purpsoe it but would cherish it Thanks for the opportunity of a drawing.


    • Patricia June 2, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

      yay! you’re the first nibble. I guess I said I’d wait a week so cross your fingers!


  6. Nancy June 16, 2013 at 3:27 am #

    I vote for Marti too…seems just the right thing for her new home 🙂
    On my end, I too thought Museum or just frame to protect and hang as is. What a beautiful find. My guy is part Choctaw and I have always felt a deep connection. But, I still vote for Marti 🙂
    Love the bird-woman…love the bird! Wonderful goings on over here.


  7. nancydas June 22, 2013 at 3:53 am #

    I would be so grateful to have this beautiful syllabary and to finish it in a meditative and guided way. My sons are Cherokee and my late husband. He worked for the tribe in Tahlequah and spoke Cherokee. Tahlequah means two is enough. It refers to the number of guides that were left to decide upon a place to settle, when they arrived from the trail of tears. My sons both study Cherokee language. They vote in the elections even though they no longer live close. They follow the goings on through the Internet now, reading the Cherokee Advocate. My granddaughter also is learning cherokee. When we lived in Tahlequah, I learned Cherokee basketry and pottery. It was an honor to be accepted in their community. When my husband died , the Cherokees had a bi lingual funeral for him, the first ever , in consideration of our family. I volunteered at the Cherokee historical museum and developed a children’s corner where they could have dress ups and play with Cherokee toys etc. a way for them to interact more with their historical heritage. My memories of that special place and people form a strong part of who I am. I have never visited your blog, but have known grace and marti for years. It was through your words there, that I finally came here, not being a dedicated blog follower but seem to be led to certain places where I find myself comfortable. Thank you for providing that. But to have found such a treasure that you are willing to part with is amazing… The story of how you came about finding it. And then how I found you here offering it. Well I would be honored to have it unless someone else has a greater need. Thank you.


    • Nancy June 22, 2013 at 5:17 am #

      OK, now I vote for Nancydas too!! What a great story you’ve shred here.


  8. nancydas June 22, 2013 at 3:56 am #

    Oh… I now see that I am too late. I suppose it wasn’t meant to be. Thank you for telling of it though. It is so beautiful. And I know marti will enjoy having it.


    • Patricia June 22, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      so you know, now, that you’re not “too late” but just in time! and isn’t the synchronicity of life an on-going marvel to behold. gotta just love the wonder of it all. much love to you and i look forward to knowing you better.


  9. Shannon June 4, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

    This is the first site I have found the Cherokee syllabary in Cross Stitch. Where did you get the pattern(s) or did you design them yourself?


    • Patricia June 5, 2014 at 5:47 am #

      hi Shannon–found this at a yard sale!


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