So yesterday was the autumn equinox. Moon in Taurus. Had to look that one up. Because I was wondering. Wondering just what got into me. A flurry of clearing out my work space. Handling pieces of cloth one by one–and I’m serious when I say there were hundreds and hundreds of little tiny pieces–and lots of big ones. But the need to know–know what was there to work with–drove the process for hours. I’m in between cloth right now even though i have 3-4 pieces not completed. And when this happens the tendency is to freak a bit– Is there one coming behind these? What is it? And that got me thinking about this whole process –about how sometimes a cloth begins with an idea but usually it begins with a scrap of fabric that contains the idea. So I’m looking for that scrap now.
Here. These newly dyed scraps. I had to make room for them. Need to know where they are. There is a preciousness to them, for me, that necessitates dedicating space to their being. And so yesterday I made space. Made space before I realized that’s what I was doing or I would have taken a “before” picture of my work area. Because now it looks like this:
And this–from a long time ago–maybe the beginning of story cloth for me? John Palmer. Grandfather. Gentle man. Tamer of squirrels. Grocer. Grower of red raspberries. Antigo, Wisconsin. 1939. Proud owner of new Pontiac. I know it was a Pontiac because I loved the Indian hood ornament. Chief Pontiac. I loved it and it reminded me of a huge rock formation in WV, across the river from where I grew up. A rock formation that from many and any angle looked like the proud profile of an Indian chief. And we, all the kids in my neighborhood, KNEW it was Chief Pontiac. And to see him on the hood of this car– was about as perfect as a thing could be.
And yesterday this cloth was dipped into black walnut liquid for a bit and now it’s almost finished. I’ll add his name. The date. The model of automobile. 1939 Pontiac. Hmmmm. Yep. He had that car for as long as I can remember. It lived in a little narrow clapboard garage next to the house in the background that he built himself. When electric tools were NOT available. Every year our family would sojourn to Wisconsin for a one-month visit. And every year I noticed the car became dustier and dustier. But he always carefully backed it out of the garage for us, and drove us up and down the neatly laid out streets of Antigo. It was a big deal.
Then this. More ancestral images. That thread seems very predominant right now. The “what came before” segueing into the now of “what is.” And the constant movement of this. The idea that I am my mother’s daughter while the same time my daughter’s mother. And a grandmother to boot. An ancestor. Past, present and future rolled into one. The seasons of.