A couple of weeks ago, when Mandy and Athena and I were having one of our Wednesday lunches, Mandy asked if we would be willing to go to her Massage Studio and bless the space. Then, she said, each week we could got to another person’s studio and do the same.
At Mandy’s we burned sage and lit a candle and meditated. Today at Athena’s Music Sanctuary, a large space in an old factory, we danced. For a half hour we moved to the music Athena chose. At some point I realized I was only moving the bottom half of my body and also realized I was more inhibited at the thought of moving my arms and shoulders and head. Still self-conscious, but feeling safe with my friends, I turned my face to the high ceiling and flung my arms from my body. My shoulders and hands moving along with the rest of me. As as I did this, as I danced around that spacious place, I realized what was missing in my potholders.
I thought of being in one of my first life drawing classes. Instead of charcoal and newsprint, I was working in clay. I was new at this, and found I was pretty good at making an accurate representation of the model. By the end of the class I had a number of small clay sculptures of the female body. I looked at them and thought, Ok, they look like the model, but so what. Millions of people can make a human figure out of clay, what I had done wasn’t so special. What I was looking for was something that made that clay figure unique to me. I was looking for my voice in that form of clay.
This is just what I wasn’t seeing in my hankie potholders. They held the history of the hankies and all that implies, and the layering added another dimension, but it seemed to me like anyone could have created them. They seemed incomplete. But as I was dancing in Athena’s Music Sanctuary, I saw my body moving across the floor like a swirling line. That’s what my potholders need I thought, a line dancing across their surface. An intuitive line, my line, unique to each potholder. Like those movements that carried me and Mandy and Athena around the Sanctuary, each of us doing what came naturally, moving in ways that no doubt express who we are and how we’re feeling.
So I came home and stitched a dance line on my Hankie Potholder. I didn’t think about it, I just let my hands guide the layers of fabric. I imagine this line will evolve, imagine it will change from day to day, from potholder to potholder. My intention is for it to remain abstract, like a dance on the thin surface of white.