I pulled the paper towel tube, wrapped in green duct tape, with Antionette’s returns address on it, out of our Post Office box.
Once I got it home, I carefully unraveled the tape, not knowing what to expect. With my thumb and finger, I reached in and pulled out a tiny cloth doll.
Then another one and another. Each one slightly different from the one before her.
I thought of Jon’s grandmother who escaped from Russia in chocolate barrel. I thought of all the people, throughout history, who have squeezed themselves into small, dangerous places to travel from one place to another, with the hope of a better life.
A week later, another paper towel tube wrapped in duct tape came in the mail. This time I knew what to expect as I released doll after doll from the tube.
I lined the dolls up on the widow sill in my studio. I move them around and rearranged them till finally one day, they formed a circle around the pincushion on my work table.
As soon as I looked at them in the circle, I knew that’s how they wanted to be.
I put them on a shelf in my studio and thought of them as I was making the four quilts for Ellen. I knew when the quilts were done I would make a piece where the women (as I had come to think of them) could live permanently in their circle.
I began stitching the center of the shape that the women would circle, with a spiral. I worked out from there, letting the lines lead me where they would. I tried to release my mind, listening to Native American Shamanic Drumming as I worked.
When I finished my stitching I added the spiral felted scrap I had cut and shaped from a shoe insert and sewed blue beads onto it.
The background fabric came from my friend Mandy. A holy cloth, she had used it for years on the altar in her studio where she does Massage and Energy work. It had just the right feeling of grounding symbols and the infinite space of the universe that I was looking for.
The women are united and at the same time reaching out like the rays of the sun.
I’ve already gotten many ideas and thoughts about these women in a circle from people who have seen it on my blog. It feels to me like they know more about it than I do.
I like that.
I means I’ve touched on something, maybe universal, that I wasn’t intellectually aware of. Something I need to learn.