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Coming Full Circle: prayer flag #12

5 Feb

wallHonoring Diversity.

A dozen prayer flags in as many days.  (The 12th follows) So beginning left to right,  Freedom of Speech, The Sacred Hoop, Encouragement, Transformation, Freedom from Persecution, Metta, Standing Firm, Honoring Diversity (above), Into the Stillness, Holding Truth and Warrior Women


Today’s releaser-of-prayers marks the end of a series–the end of an effort that has traveled full circle.  There may be more.  Or not.   Their mission has been accomplished and eco printing calls.

Although externally nothing has changed, internally I am more centered.  (I was going to say “on solid ground” but still reaching for that place.)   But I find myself better able now to stand and face the is-ness of #45 without totally losing my center–or my mind.

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Today’s flag Coming Full Circle started as usual with no name and no real plan.  Handling scraps.  I came across the body–a pure white woven rectangle and the process began.   Initially I thought about purity.  Cleansing.  So they are embedded in this irrepressible sprite who refuses to be boxed in–thus the opening in the sky—a passageway–a portal for transcending.  She begged for color and before I knew it, her headdress and heart were  in place.  And a light-hearted cosmic dance was underway.

Hand dyed indigo backing.  full

Thank you for accompanying me on this journey.

Warrior Women: prayer flag #11

4 Feb

This morning I’m thinking about a warrior woman–one woman in particular–a scrappy keeper-of-goats living in the harsh yet beautiful desert of the SW.    Not a place for the weak of body or spirit.  I’m joining her this morning in solidarity, vowing to take back what I’ve been relinquishing–stepping out of this small, spiteful drama and reclaiming, to the degree that I can–a sense of perspective–a sense of how it goes.  Viewing the big screen in high definition.onewomancu

warrior-woman

This warrior woman was part of a weaving exercise using a little box as the loom.  She stands on cloth dyed with black walnuts.  Mounted on fabric mordanted with sumac.  Her head is one half of a sampler I made while practicing slow cloth with Jude Hill.  And yes, Jude Hill is a warrior as well.  As was my mother.   As is my daughter.  My sister, friends cousins and nieces.  This is for you.

Into the Stillness: prayer flag #9

2 Feb

img_4189This what-might-look-like-a rag pile is actually my hoard of earthly, material treasures. (No pun intended.)   Things I would grab if leaving home in a hurry.  On that little couch, and the shelves that surround it,  I find remnants of work from the last ten or so years.  Natural dyed fabric experiments, hand-dyed indigo shibori pieces, pieces of slow cloth that I labored over so intensely, eco print fabrics, pieces of silk hand dyed and ecoprinted, needle felted wool, etc.  And this is where I go, these mornings of late, when I begin the prayer flag of the day.

This morning I was contemplating the importance of stepping into stillness.  Especially as a tool to handle the maelstorm of current events.  Contemplating stillness and casually examining pieces of cloth.  What surfaced was a felted wool stork.  Felted wool and pieces of linen indigo dyed shibori.  Surfaced and coalesced with little effort on my part.

Curious abbestreallyout stork’s symbolism in light of the intent of these prayer flags, I googled stork.   My take-away:

If we allow it to it can instill a sense of calm in us…. It reminds us to be careful with our words and attitudes, remaining calm, cool, and collected in the face of adversity. When we do this, we can be at peace.

Instill.  In still.  OK.  Into stillness.

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Honoring Diversity, Cultivating Empathy prayer flag #8

1 Feb

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I’ve named today’s prayer flag Honoring Diversity.  

It’s a cloth made perhaps 7 years ago.  A time when I was experimenting with free motion machine stitching as well as natural dyeing.  The linen background, as I recall, was dyed with golden rod.  The right hand corner isn’t washed out as it seems.  And the oval is a combination of free motion stitching, hand stitching, pastels on cloth and machine work. Four diverse methods for creating a whole cloth.  I pulled it out of my scrap bag this a.m.  Relegated there because at the time, I didn’t know what to do with it.  It’s not beautiful, not really pleasing, not what I expected, but clearly diverse.  Sometimes that’s messy.  And now it’s stitched onto linen and sending out the need for honoring others.

Originally my intention was to honor the four directions and the elements of fire, water, earth and air–elements essential to life as we know it.  Elements to be revered, to be protected–honoring diversity.

The other day, grandson and I were discussing the value of diversity.  The concept of empathy came up and he wanted an explanation.   Wondered if it was the same thing as feeling sorry for someone.  To be honest, I had to dig.  Finally I said I thought that rather than feeling sorry for someone, empathy is more like feeling sorry with someone.  Maybe not the best answer but he seemed to get it.  So…sending this wish out on a wing and a prayer.   May we honor diversity and cultivate empathy.

cubest

May All Things Rise–Free of Persecution: prayer flag #5

29 Jan

(for Winki Allen)

Sending out this prayer this morning–may all children, women and men be free of persecution–may our country remember its origins–may we not fight fire with fire but with love and hope–and finally because today’s prayer flag also holds seeds and leaves from last year’s dye garden (woad, marigold and eucalyptus)–may the guardians of all-things-that-grow bless this little plot of earth again and may the fruit of the seeds rise high.

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Scraps of eco prints and naturally dyed cloth.  Yellow onion, madder, white oak.

Encouragement prayer flag #3

27 Jan

I don’t know any one person who doesn’t need encouragement right now.  The future looks pretty scary.   Even living in the now can feel scary.   So today’s flag was stitched and ripped with prayers of hope and encouragement for ALL of us.  We tell our children, “Never give up,” but sometimes we forget to apply that to ourselves.  We stand in disbelief that government officials, congressmen and senators seem to be rolling out the king’s welcome mat–with no indication of questioning some of the bizarre insane mandates coming down the pike.  I’m not feeling especially encouraged by that display of lock-step blind allegiance, but I am encouraged by the resistance displayed in some of the federal agencies.  Alt twitter accounts.  And although I find twitter to be an amazing degradation of communication–especially coming from the big boy–alt accounts mean someone isn’t buying into this horror show.  That encourages me.

Let’s collectively take a deep breath, if just for this split second, to breathe in hope and exhale fear.  Take two if you want.  Every drop of water raises the level in the bucket.

 http://www.core77.com/posts/60230/Heres-a-List-of-All-the-US-Govts-Rogue-Twitter-Accounts-Fighting-Trumps-Crackdown-on-Science

Prayer Flag #3:  Encouragement

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The Sacred Hoop: prayer flag #2

26 Jan

I guess I’ll do this until frustration with the mechanics of blog-world once more drives me nuts. In six short months I have forgotten every THING I knew about WordPress. What should have been a quick download of this morning’s eco dyed prayer flag has taken almost an hour. Beginning with i-pad pic, getting it off the i-pad to the desktop, dealing with the google drive, wordpress not recognizing the google drive, downloaded a pic and now cannot insert text above it. Deleted pics, inserted text first then again the pics. Now can’t figure out why photos in preview mode won’t give me that little hand-finger icon so they can be enlarged.

And wondering all the while–“why am I doing this?” and really–I don’t have a good answer. But I will continue making these prayer flags–messages on the wind, sending out concerns, hopes and prayers trusting they’ll be carried where they may help some thing in some way.

Listen Grandfather Where I Stand

Hey-a-a-hay! Lean to hear my feeble voice.

At the center of the sacred hoop,

you have said that I should make the tree to bloom.

With tears running O Great Spirit, my Grandfather,

with running eyes I must say….

The tree has never bloomed.

Here I stand, and the tree is withered.

Again I recall the great vision you gave me.

It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives….

Nourish it then, that it may leaf and bloom and fill with singing birds!

Hear me, that the people may once again go back to the sacred hoop,
find the good road, and the shielding tree.

~Black Elk

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