Cleaning House ….

7 Aug

Yesterday I had my house cleaned. Actually, it was a partial exchange–a swap for dog sitting which I’d rather do any day. I think it had been weeks. Months perhaps. And things were getting to the point where I was looking at MLS listings–thinking I’d just swap this house out for a clean one. I’m happy to say I’m liking it here again.

So yesterday I stayed in my little cloth room that had also become a garden room, tool shed, office, mud room and dog space. And I forced myself to clean it–hauling out dirt, sand and a year’s worth of dust –sweeping up the fallen-off things from all the found items I bring in. Leaves. Pine cones. Sticks. Branches. To name a few. I identified the strange odors that had discouraged me from spending a lot of time there. Organic fertilizers, blood and bone meal, wolf urine. Relocating them to the basement.

When I actually started in on trying to organize my scrap pieces, I had an incredible realization: if this house were to catch on fire I’d grab Hopi and these, first:


I’m looking at this now–this basket of scraps–one of MANY–and marveling at its importance for me. Its VALUE. To-me-a-treasure. And I’m remembering a question I posed to Grace several years ago. “Where do all of those wonderful scraps and shapes come from?” I don’t remember her exact reply–but I was left with the thought that if I just stayed with the cloth, what I needed would become available. And it has. In spades. Because I seem constitutionally unable to throw out anything but the tiniest pieces that would not hold up to stitch. For a brief moment I wonder if I’m a hoarder? But move past that quickly to the understanding that these scraps–these treasures–are what allow me to express self. To make sense of the world as I see it. To integrate experience with understanding of how things are. It’s clarifying and much purer, in some sense, than the noise I make when I write and/or speak.

And also, yesterday during the process of creating order from chaos, I found lost treasures: pieces of tiny sewn together scraps of which I have oodles, plus this little black and white scrap missing for several weeks–safely pinned down to be stitched shortly:


and this piece of heart poplar from my daughter’s tree that had to be cut down last year–a majestic tree, well-loved tree that sheltered their home for years, but now was in danger of falling on the house–the center heart of the poplar–together with two bluejay feathers found on a recent walk with boy:


Very early this morning I added nails to this old frameDSC01405 and dug around in my treasure basket, pulling out long skinny strips and then weaving them with no thing in mind–still, slowly I began to see what it was. With the addition of a found cloth head…another one of those “things.” Things that have peopled my dreams and thoughts for years, eons. And though truthfully I’d like to add some diversity to my images, these “beings” adamantly come forth, asserting their need for “air time.” The irony/humor/oddness of it all doesn’t escape me. Still sometimes I ask, “why this? why them?” and I’m hearing: “WHY NOT?” DSC01408

8 Responses to “Cleaning House ….”

  1. debbie.weaver August 7, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    Love this post it made me amused and amazed in turn. Love the woven figures as well. I used to dressmake a lot not so much now but I never used to keep small scraps, now after discovering Jude and Grace I’m wishing I had. I’m learning, every scrap gets saved now.


    • karmadondruplhamo August 7, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

      i smiled so when i read of finding that black and white scrap that
      had been missing for several weeks…it’s such just JOY to have
      a long lost shred APPEAR….! I love it when that happens.
      and yes. all the fragments, the seams from things. they are the
      most perfect of all. There is such a HUGE satisfaction to making
      a “picture” of the “experience and understanding of how things are”.
      from just these pieces of other things that were even other things
      before. This post was a Satisfaction in itself. and i agree with the
      dream characters…Why Not?
      the heart of poplar and two feathers looks like a boat…feather sails…
      Love you, your cleaned house, your scraps, your imagination, your
      willingness to tell of it all….Thank you for being exactly how you are…


      • Patricia August 8, 2014 at 5:46 am #

        now i understand the response on your blog to the comment “good job.” isn’t it amazing how feedback can set the direction for one’s day? or at least color it vividly.? why? why not?


    • Patricia August 8, 2014 at 5:51 am #

      hi debbie–amazing isn’t it? and it’s the tiniest pieces that seem to hold so MUCH potential–pieces that appear on their own and could never be deliberately created. glad you’re here!


  2. saskia August 7, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    love the small wandering figure and look forward to seeing how the woven scrap figure will turn out, already loving the colours


    • Patricia August 8, 2014 at 5:41 am #

      hey Saskia. good to hear from you. both figures, the wandering pilgrim and the now-bird woman are patiently awaiting their journey. i’m glad they’re patient.


  3. karmadondruplhamo August 7, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    and do you feel that Thing i sometimes talk about…how the level of Vibration RISES with the clearing of dust? Just curious


    • Patricia August 8, 2014 at 5:49 am #

      absolutely. the day-before-the-cleaning, i did some deep stuff–fans, baseboards, decluttering. nothing that really showed at that point–but the shift was so noticeable. lighter. much lighter. and the sense of that lightness came on its own–surprised me. i noticed it and stopped and looked. nothing to really see. just a deep feeling of “yes.”


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