Last week, in the Salvation Army, I found a jumper that I used to own 20 years ago. It wasn’t mine, of course, but it may as well have been. Like a time machine, it took me back. I got it on sale at the Gap and wore it for years, I wore it thin. Finding it on the clothes rack, hanging with all the other dresses,was like seeing an old friend. I couldn’t resist it. But I knew I didn’t want it hanging around my studio too long (really, who needs all those memories). Then, remembering it was 100% cotton, I realized I could use it for potholder backings.
It seemed fitting, like reclaiming the past. There was something transformative about using it in the way that comes most naturally to me now, which is to cut it up and make something out of it. Because we can change the past in the way that we think about it in the present. Three years ago, that jumper would have evoked painful memories in me for days. Now I can smile knowing I had some good times in my jumper and then let it all go. Knowing, also, it was all somehow leading to now.