I finished Owl Woman today.
After the backing was done, I tacked it with small knots of yellow embroidery floss. Now she’s ready to go to her new home.
Sometimes people ask me if I want to keep a piece of art I’ve made because it’s so personal and comes at an important moment in my life. I appreciate and understand that someone might question that. But I never have the urge to keep my art.
I’d always rather it go out into the world and live its life.
I was in high school the first time I read Khalil Gibran’s poem “On Children” from his book “The Prophet“.
It touched me deeply because it was the kind of relationship I longed to have with my parents. One where I was expected to have my own thoughts and beliefs. Where I was taught to live the life I chose, not the one my parents expected of me. Where it was known that I belonged only to me.
Since then I’ve always thought that if I ever had children, I would try to be that “stable bow” from which “living arrows are sent forth.”
I never did have children, but in a way, I think of my art as my children.
Two years ago, D.J. bought my fabric painting “I Am Enough”. A couple of weeks ago, she sent me a letter letting me know that Delilah, as DJ calls her, has become a muse.
“Delilah…is still reigning gloriously over my studio. She has inspired many wonderful songs and prose.” D.J. wrote me. “I particularly feel her in times when I begin to second-guess myself. All I have to do in that moment is look up at her and I hear her shouts loud and clear, YOU ARE ENOUGH! And all my concerns over whether it is right or wrong are instantly dispelled. “
It was wonderful hearing from D.J. and knowing that my fabric painting had evolved to become a part of D.J.’s creative life.
I have no doubt Delilah is just where she belongs. Just as I know that “Owl Woman” is going to the place she belongs.
By Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
But seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
As living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
And He bends you with His might
That His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
So He loves also the bow that is stable.