Tag Archives: realigning self

Expressions in White: excavations

10 Apr

Following along with cloth wizard Jude Hill —Jude Hill’s Spirit Cloth–and for the past so many months have been actively participating in her workshop–Spirit Diaries that has now morphed into a “What If” approach to expressing self through the medium of fiber.  I’m thinking  about that now.  About expressing.  Expression.  To express.  Thinking about the meaning as well as the “why” of it all.  To express, to represent by sign or symbol.  To symbolize.  Yes?  But no.  Here’s the definition I prefer–“to squeeze or press out.”  That’s it.  That’s what expressing self through fiber feels like.  To squeeze out, wring out,  distill self to bare essence, and then convey THAT.  And I’m wondering now, why in the world do I do this–why do I TRY to do this?  This excavation of self.  And honestly, I don’t know.  I know when I succeed at it–or don’t.  I just don’t know why.  And have arrived at the point where I realize that asking “why” is simply a futile exercise.  It doesn’t matter.  This is what I do simply because I can’t help myself– something inside is demanding to get out.

But really it’s so much more than that.  It’s a process that pits me straight flat up  next to all sorts of things.  Assumptions.   Beliefs.  Fears.  Joys.  Truths.  Understanding self.  Understanding period.  To express self.  It’s a process that sometimes feels like a journey through a meat grinder.  And sometimes it feels like a magic plunge down a long water slide.  So I could go on and on here but let’s not, just for the sake of attention span.

This “What If-ing” began as a study of white.  White?  Yep.  White.  And I was stuck from the beginning.  Just now pulled up some images I was seeing in my nearby environment, thinking about pattern, shadow, texture.  Thinking about the meaning of white.  I kept at it because of a sense that there was some kernel of knowledge to be gleaned by simply doing it, even though I didn’t want to.  Didn’t resonate with it.  Resisted it big time.  And what’s come from this process has been very interesting indeed.  White.  All color?  Absence of color?  I don’t know really.  But it’s come to represent, during this white what-if-ing–it’s come to represent a non-dual state.  A state of inclusiveness.  That existence is not either/or.  Not this or that.  Not one thing or another.  But everything. This AND that. One thing AND another. The pain WITH the pleasure. It just all IS. And for me, freedom comes with the acceptance and acknowledgement of that. So here. I was looking at white and not white. Curve and line. Inside outside. Animal, plant. Reflection and shadow.

a field of sunflowers in winter
the start of kombucha
my nest
inside outside
polarized rice and water
whiterice whitewater
white quartz. a gift from boy
shape in the banana’s center
white banana

And this came out of all of THAT. All of what I’ve tried to express in words. This became my understanding of what I’ve said here.

The first one is “Seeing Through.”


And then this. ” Freedom”

white feathers


4 Mar

Sitting in stillness this morning. Then noticing. The play of light and shadow. How both are essential. How one part will either recede or move forward, wholly dependent on where I place my attention. homer Yet each part of this lightness/darkness image requiring the other.

At a workshop this weekend I  experienced what I can only call a fundamental shift in the arrangement of pieces of self–the experience of coming together of disparate parts. A melding. Into one.  And I’m calling this evolution because it was an organic experience–  an adjustment, adaptation–natural selection.

For ever, my m.o. has revolved around “getting rid of.” Banning, removing, resisting,  purging the disparate pieces of self that seemed problematic.  This “getting rid of” model was a futile Promethean endeavor–exhausting and depleting.  So this weekend’s epiphany –that the getting rid of paradigm simply DOES NOT work for me–was both profound and a huge relief.    And the experience itself –well really words diminish it.  But put simply,  all that was required was a “welcoming” attitude. An embracing. A shifting–a making room for– a scooting over to offer ALL these pieces of SELF a place at the table.

And as a post script: One of the guests at the table is voicing doubt with this post. Wanting to be sure I clarify something–that being this: the welcoming is on-going. Never finished. Sometimes guests leave and return. This shift is only that–an opening, an awareness–and it will need be applied to almost each moment, each day, from here — to here on.

And as it happens so often,  again  the metaphor of whole cloth.  The integration of disparate parts and scraps that eventually merge into a unified, strong fabric.  Here is the continued evolution of Primordial Soup.  More kantha stitches completed on the tree curtain.  More on the way.  The addition of a few more thread bumps in the soup itself.  More on the way.soup2

Cloth as Healing

9 Jan

Yesterday I posted a request for healing.  And because this is a blog about cloth, I used pieces of cloth  to illustrate  the request.Intention

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.white stripe

So I replaced them with old pieces from my grandmother’s pillowcase crochet–black walnut dyed.  crochetAnd 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?

crochet with redSo 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.”

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