Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Letting go and hanging on.

I took this photo some years ago. One morning I woke up and  looked out of my kitchen window and saw this incredible light streaming through the trees and the plants they were just glistening. I quickly grabbed my camera and ran outside. I wanted to capture these moments. 

On father's day I phoned home to wish my father a Happy Father's Day. He sounded a bit frazzled. I know that my mother has not been well and her age is finally slowing her to the point where her days are filled with only the bare necessities of life. I ask how things are. And so the news is difficult always to hear. She is sleeping. My heart begins to feel this pang. I tell my dad I love him and we say our goodbyes. And like the light ... the tears stream through my consciousness. My mother is slipping away to another place and I feel time going quickly. It's funny how life seems to have a pace about it that changes aren't always so noticeable and then suddenly it seems to be going so quickly. Already nothing will be the same. My mother is suffering from Alzheimers and it is like saying goodbye before they go .. only you know it and they don't really. Its undescribeable confusion intermingled with glimpses of true happiness or peace at seeing someone you love. IT's a loss .. I feel grief before it feels I should feel it. It's death before death. Goodbye before the end. Strange words it seems ....Feels like standing on the edge of a big hole which is deep and dark and scarey.  It's all a lot to manage in my head and still try to make a living being a creative person. 

I guess the work is a welcome distraction from reality. I am barely hanging on. Trying to hope above hope that I will sell some work so I can keep doing what I love. Trying to resolve my own fears so I can get it out there. Grateful to have a mountain of ideas and time to execute them. In my ideal world I can trade art or clothes or jewelry that I make for everything that I need. Everyone everywhere loves all that I create. Not sure how to get from here to there. 

Now for some showing and telling .. after discovering I realized how much I loved stitching. I really find that I love to do the running stitch and am totally addicted to the texture that it creates on cloth. I love the boro cloths and even the whole idea of them and that they are mended japanese kimono's that the peasants wore. In repairing them and passing them on from one generation to the other, the cloths became infused with memory of past generations. The fact that they did this and gave such meaning to their cloths .. kimonos or blankets really resonates with me. They had a belief of not wasting any cloth and used everything they had. It seems like we have become such a disposable society any more and I like the idea of hand made even hand me down. Hand stitching is especially appealing. So partly to make something that is not like everyone else .. to have an air of my flavor, to feel my artsy self .. to fit me in a way that makes me comfortable. I started to make my own clothes. I feel good in my clothes. I put my self .. my sense of design into everything I make. I feel good when I can add hand stitching to my pieces and sometimes they are hard to part with. I often alter the fabric with dye or design either with extracting dye or adding .. with deconstructing a garment and putting it back together in a way that fits me better. No two pieces are alike. They may appear similar but they are all different. I hate to throw out even a scrap. You can imagine how my studio looks !!! ha .. I make jewelry with the scraps. I am convinced that I can make something beautiful out of anything .. lol .. it reminds me of playing dress up .. it feels like pretend .. what if i do this? I wonder what it will feel like to wear this? Thats a big part of why I do it. It's fun!! 

I was talking to a dear friend that has several of my pieces and she told me that she was comfortable in my clothes. I have to say that many times I make clothes that make me feel good .. this is such a wonderful feeling to give another woman a feeling of comfort .. and good sense of individuality. And I cannot escape the wonderful feeling of knowing that I did infuse my good will into each piece. I remember a while back a fellow stitcher Arlee Barr sent me a book that she had two of and in the pages of the book she stashed some of her fabric and piece of stitched fabric .. it was an anatomical heart. I was so so so excited to get it. And I was deeply moved to have it. There was something very profound to just have the knowledge that she had touched it and made all the stitches on it. I can't explain why it is but I was aware of how I felt about that. And then there is my wedding dress. I designed it and my mother sewed it and hand sewed 2000 seed pearls onto it. I am not married any more. Friends have suggested I part with the dress. I just can't. I can't let go of my mothers stitching and love that I know was infused into that dress. I DID take it out of the box that it was in for over 30 years. It's now hanging in my closet. I WIll do something with it. Not sure what yet but I will. well this is turning into a rather long post .. so I'll just share one of the pieces I did with stitching and old doilies and a shirt. I even made a rose with leaves from some eco dyed silk. Thanks for stopping over. I feel better now that I put it ALL out there haha ..