In the shadows…

I dunno. This making thing isn’t so simple to integrate into RealLife sometimes but the doing of it certainly makes getting through RealLife smoother. So a girl’s gotta make and then deal with the bottlenecks.

Last weekend I agreed to make a quickie small quilt for a friend for an exhibit. Since I’m in the midst of a studio sweep, there were some great recently excavated bits and pieces to choose from. Here’s one in situ years ago.

a glimpse of process too

It was a thrill to experiment with this idea, but I’d abandoned it for less meticulous pursuits. Ahem…there may have been intensive use of tweezers to get placements just right…yikes. Sadly, I am feeling enticed back to the technique, since it’s hard to take the crazy out of this girl.

Anyway, works-in-progress age well sometimes, don’t they?

In shadows

Here’s a small 7×10″ quilted piece. I call it In Shadows since that was the original intent of that section of the larger design. Darkness can seem flat color-wise, but there are really layers of colors to delight in at the boundaries with light. This is just a snippet.

In shadows

How about some links to stuff?

  • My work has been selected to be in a book! It’s an honor to be in company with these artists, from 1960-present.
  • So much of my post-election life is described in I’m Not Your Racial Confessor. I carry on through the disappointment with my grandmother as my inspiration; she dealt with far worse adversity and it would be enormously disrespectful not to just meet the world with all the dignity and respect I can muster. It’s especially not easy to keep marching while others try to enforce their much misguided stereotypical expectations of you. [There’s so much at play here and not enough time to write deeply this morning. Read the piece, please. We’ll talk more later.]
  • And as my feeling of isolation at RealJob intensify, this bit of real-talk about faculty diversity just confirms what some of us have known for a long time.
  • To end this navel-gazing on a higher note, here’s a think piece on how we construct our autobiographical narratives. These narratives are manifestations and reinforcements of identity. Of course, there’s a quilt brewing in this idea…

Have a lovely day!


(sorta) silent sunday: by the numbers

22,176 stitches at 20 st/in, overall 5″x10″, 10 colors, 28 tapestry,
started: 9/30, finished: 11/19

slow stitches

slow stitches

slow stitches

slow stitches

slow stitches

and still i rise.

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

— Maya Angelou

finding my face.

This Sunday morning, refreshed from that extra hour of sleep yet somehow still exhausted, these words came to me:

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;

There’s no pretense with poetry here. I am in awe of most literature and vigorously attempt to devour more than my fair share, yet I must fully admit that I cower dumbfounded in intellectual admiration when interacting with poems, in particular. Some time on a therapist’s couch may clarify why it’s like kryptonite? Fragments stay with me though, popping up into my head and pressing me to return to the text to mull again. [Here‘s the rest of that one above.]

Recently we chatted about the swirling storm of stuff going on everywhere–the world, the pipeline, the election, in RealLife and RealJob. Sure we’re all a little untethered from time to time, but this is a sustained moment of unease and in no realm is there a clear path through. It is so easy to get caught up in the minutia because the smallest of things are all that we can manage.

Even my meditative project is just 22,176 tiny achievable bits that may amount to something eventually. Slowly finding my face in there, I’m still enjoying the process. And yet ceasing to fret over each pixel, lifting my head, and taking a bird’s eye view from time to time would improve the outcome immensely.

finding my face

And I think cranky old Wordsworth would agree. Introspection and selfish self-care have merits but eventually I should pull my head out of my a**, be in nature, and re-center on stuff that truly matters. …ahem… It’s too bad it takes a mistake or two to remind me of this.

Stitchery alone cannot save one from venting stress in inappropriate ways. (And sometimes heartfelt direct apologies in response do not suffice. *sigh*) What to do? It’s difficult to readjust amid the din but it’s wholly worthwhile and necessary to try.

Maybe Thoreau has a suggestion…?