Tag Archives: blue jay feathers

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

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