For so many people, this week before Christmas is a hectic chaotic time. I worked in retail for many years and these days before Christmas meant late nights, quick lunches and a frenzied stress level. All this on top of the emotional stresses of the holidays.
But this week, as I shipped off the commissioned quilts and the last of my potholders, I felt the slowing down of days. More in sync with the solstice, the longest nights and cold temperatures, than the preparations for the selling and buying for Christmas, I feel myself winding down instead of building up to something big.
When I went into my studio on Friday, there was nothing I needed to make for anyone but me and my art. It’s not something I’ve felt in some months.
Open for anything, and having no idea what it might be, I prepared a surface ( the back of an old quilt top someone sent me) to do “that anything” on, and hung it on my wall.
I lit a candle on a small stool and placed it and my yoga mat in front of the prepared surface. I played Native American drumming on my iphone and sat in on my mat.
But, I didn’t stay there long. Soon I was up, moved by the drums, dancing around my studio. I pulled a Stephanie Brody-Lederman painting catalogue off my shelf, one I haven’t looked at in a long time, and still moving, looked through it.
I kept moving, and found myself retrieving objects from around my studio and placing them on the stool. It was becoming an altar. A big hunk of Quartz, a marker, a small plastic alligator, thread.
I kept moving, and at one point saw in my mind a piece of green glass stitched to the old quilt top that hung on my wall.
One of the dogs dug up the shard of glass in the back yard over the summer. It had a curve to it, making me think it came from an old bottle. I had it on my window sill since then.
Now I took the glass and wore its sharp edges smooth on the stepping stone outside my door. I placed it on my alter.
I kept moving till the music stopped. The drumming done, I stopped moving. Turned down the heat and turned off the lights.
Keeping in sync with the slowness descending, I knew I had done enough for now. I also knew where I would begin again on Monday morning.