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.
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.
Yesterday I posted a request for healing. And because this is a blog about cloth, I used pieces of cloth to illustrate the request.
Only the woven center was mindfully constructed with focus on healing. The gauze and red linen were just there–so I used them. It was that unplanned. Not a project. Not the beginning of something else. Simply cloth and color accompanied with a request that healing flow towards a loved one. Or so I thought.
I left the cloth pieces on the table and several times during the day looked at the little pile –the gauze was turning into something that suggested a heart. An unplanned surprise. But the red linen started Really bothering me. Nice by itself, but clashing somehow with the overall intention. Clearly lacking gentleness. Off and on during the day I switched out backgrounds. Nothing was working–better, worse–but never just right. So I went to bed.
This morning just as I was ready to pitch the pieces in the scrap pile, I tried one more thing–auditioned one more piece of fabric that I’d been saving for something special, and immediately it seemed to pull things together.
But the muslin strips weren’t right.
So I replaced them with old pieces from my grandmother’s pillowcase crochet–black walnut dyed. And the cloth started to speak to a sense of ease, or comfort, or gentling. Started to speak towards healing perhaps. A very interesting evolution. All happening seemingly with a life of its own.
And it’s still going. Now I’m hearing that Maybe just a touch of the original red is called for here? A reminder of fire, energy, life force?
So the cloth is healing itself in a way. Moving from a haphazard arrangement of individual pieces towards something integrated. So I sit here with this awareness, that this process is simply a microcosm of life The constant adjusting, repairing, mending, realigning, rearranging of self. Moving and shifting and all the while mysteriously pulled towards the place that resonates with “yes.”
I’m meeting a dear friend E. for lunch today. We don’t get together often. Her schedule is much busier than mine. When I think of her, I think of her heart–the openness of it and the love she bestows to every ONE–two legged and 4-legged alike. She is a massage therapist and works with a chiropractor. Together they have designed a therapeutic brace that relieves knee/hip pain in canines. She has poured her heart into developing the prototypes and now the final product. This heart sends lots of love back TO her.
The background –strips of scrap cloth woven a la Jude Hill. The doily under the heart is one E. gave me a long time ago. It had belonged to her mother. Free motion stitching (she whispers).
a heart for E.