Lessons and Teachers

7 Sep

Shocked and saddened by the news that Thich Nhat Hanh is seriously ill.  Hard to imagine a world bereft of his light.


OK.  In light of the above news, this posting seems almost silly– but I’ll go ahead with it, with the awareness of what is really  important and what is simply daily drama.

A little more than a year ago I applied for booth space at Woolworth Walk in Asheville.  A very popular venue downtown.  Two floors of an old Woolworth’s store  containing the work of local artists.  A month or so later I received a call saying my cloth had been accepted, but was told that it would probably be a while before space opened.  Well, a year later, last week in fact, I got the call.  A space was open.  Did I want it?

My first reaction was no.  I felt too busy.  I had only several days to pull it together–paint, hang a shelf, deal with lighting.  That doesn’t sound like much.  But the day the call came I was participating in the drama of having made an offer on a house–and I just felt overwhelmed. Even after we backed out of the house offer, I still felt resistance to taking this step.  The rent on the booth is cheap, really.  $45/month.  And IF something sells, commission is 19%.  But the booth is small–a 3′ wall approximately 6′ tall.  I couldn’t visualize it.  Couldn’t see how I might display the cloth so that each piece could be  seen.  Then when I hesitated and the WW manager said,  “Well, you won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t take it–but it may take another year before something else opens,” I decided to go for it.  Other than a few intense days of set-up, what could be the harm?

It’s been an interesting process–the thoughts and feelings that are arising.  I’m looking at those now–those thoughts and feelings.  How I seem more comfortable just storing the cloth under my bed.   I’m really wondering about that.  The complacency with being invisible.  Wondering also if fear of rejection is playing into all of this?  And as soon as I notice that one–the rejection thing–a HUGE white flag waves in front of me.  A reminder.  An insight.

It amazes me how  lessons/reminders  come in so many different forms.  And the lessons that are up right now are directing me back to the wisdom bound up in Miguel Angel Ruiz book,  The Four Agreements.  There’s really no reason to list the phrasing of the thoughts I’m having.  It’s enough to say some of them are less than positive and really deserve as little air time as possible.

So I’m looking at this.  Noticing the thoughts. Wondering if I’m inadvertently confusing  cloth and self.  Asking for clarity.   And as Jude Hill always says, just going.


The trak lighting I hung overpowered the cloths.  I was tempted to leave it because adapting the trak and hanging the light was a BIG deal.  Challenging.  But the light cast heavy shadows around the kantha stitching.  Made the cloth hard to view.  So I’m rethinking lighting.  And the background paint–I was locked into that–gallery white.  But for now here it is–an opportunity to observe and to notice where my bucket holes need patching.




20 Responses to “Lessons and Teachers”

  1. Totsy September 7, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    I’m really happy! That you’re work is at The WoolWorth . I love the cloth so much. It needs to be seen. Now the work of my favorite artist in town is under the same roof. Thank you for sharing it!


    • Patricia September 7, 2014 at 10:37 am #

      Thanks Totsy. We can talk about it on Friday. I see you at 9.


  2. jude September 7, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    could you hang them on a cloth background?


    • grace September 7, 2014 at 10:28 am #

      GREAT GREAT idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • Patricia September 7, 2014 at 10:38 am #

      they’re kinda ticky about things looking “neat.” but I’m thinking I could hang cloth and stretch it fairly taut. what did you have in mind?


    • Patricia September 8, 2014 at 3:45 am #

      suggestions? i was thinking perhaps burlap


  3. grace September 7, 2014 at 9:50 am #

    Am GLAD!!!!! Glad you did it…..Glad you are willing to see how it all goes. It looks
    just GREAT and GOOD and yes, it is a perfect time of year. I want to see your
    Artists statement…???….
    Oh…am happy you went forward with it. Really really happy you did.

    The Tay….i breathe for him…….

    Love to you, happy love to you


    • Patricia September 7, 2014 at 10:46 am #

      i reposted the artist’s statement for you to see. what would you see as a cloth backdrop?


      • jstockler September 7, 2014 at 11:26 am #

        maybe something woven, something that adds texture? This is so so wonderful for you and brave, too, because I would feel the same way inside and don’t know if I could rise above it.


        • Patricia September 8, 2014 at 3:40 am #

          i have to say i was very surprised by it all–but “brave?” i thank you for that but i’m not sure “brave” is quite the word. curious with trepidation perhaps. do you have a blog site? i’ve clicked on your link but not having much success. still, thanks for visiting and commenting. sending love….


          • julie September 8, 2014 at 6:50 am #

            juliestockler.blogspot.com. The link here is in wordpress,the blog is in blogger and that is the sum of what I know about that!


  4. Marti September 7, 2014 at 10:56 am #

    Good for you Patricia, I am so pleased for you that your harvest of cloth is on display, especially this time of the year when harvesting on many levels takes place. Giving and receiving, having courage to put your work in a public forum. Your cloths will hold deep meaning for those who are fortunate to see them, touch them, bring them into their lives..

    One of my cherished quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh is for you: “Mindfulness is to become completely alive…and live deeply each moment.” You have gone deep into your cloth and now, it is ready so that others may do so themselves- full circle.


    • Patricia September 8, 2014 at 3:43 am #

      i too love that particular quote. he has made so many profound offerings in the past. let’s do like Grace and send breath, love and healing his way. also like the idea of a harvest of cloth. yes. the fruit of this growth season. love to you, Marti.


  5. Elizabeth Eve September 7, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    I have work scheduled….


  6. Mo Crow September 7, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    I really like the display, the plain white holds and helps separate the individual works, a textured or coloured cloth could crowd them


    • Patricia September 8, 2014 at 3:44 am #

      i am going to leave it for now. it’s really tricky working in that small space. i felt like a buffalo in a china shop–so concerned that i was going to take out all the booths around me.


  7. Nancy September 8, 2014 at 4:02 am #

    OK, so many things here struck me. His health hanging in balance and that feeling of ‘say it ain’t so’. Your hesitant thoughts and then the ‘if not now, when?’…more comfortable with them stored under the bed (A-Ha, that’s where artists store their work!!)…I agree with Mo on the white separating, framing the pieces. I like that it is a small space, perfect for these 7 pieces + cards. A small space to get your feet wet in. That seems good. I am among the others, glad in your doing of this. It tickles me to see a friends work out there. Just great.


    • Patricia September 8, 2014 at 4:08 am #

      are you up late or early? this is good. insomnia for me…and still able to reach across the way to a kindred soul. yes, Thay’s presence is huge this morning. and i’m struck with how much i love him. remembering to inhale/exhale.


  8. beth September 8, 2014 at 7:27 am #

    Congratulations on taking this step. Being a part of this may change your work in someway–it will be interesting for you to observe that. I’m up early also. Maybe the pull of the moon.


    • Patricia September 8, 2014 at 7:37 am #

      hi Beth. the moon for sure. you’re right–this is going to be an interesting process to observe–i have NO idea where things will go, if anywhere at all.


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