I started my day by undoing. A while back I sewed a border around the fabric with the tree on it in the photo above. It’s been hanging on my studio wall since then. But today I removed that border and started over.
When I was cleaning up my studio I put aside some fabric that I thought would work well with the tree and today I started working on making it into a quilt. Not only did the tree call to me, but the colors did too.
I don’t remember who sent me that gorgeous piece of fabric with the flowers and their roots. They all seem to be ascending to me.
This is as far as I got today.
I didn’t get to sew that panel on the right and still have to find a small piece for the bottom of it. As much as I wanted to keep working on it, by the time I got this far, I was just too tired, in body and mind to do more.
I didn’t feel like following anyone else’s path. So I walked through the woods with Fate following me, not thinking about anything but where to put my feet next.
And that’s how we found the twin trees, growing side by side, their roots covered in soft, bright green moss.
I’d been walking for at least an hour, was it them I was looking for all along. I sat between the tow leaning my back against one, my boots curled against the other, the moss surprisingly dry and warm.
I closed my eyes and let the thoughts and feelings run through me. I let them come and go without indulging them but letting them have their full say. And when I was done, I got up, stepped back and Fate stepped between the trees where I had just been.
I fumbled getting my iPhone out of my coat, silently asking her to stay, which she did, as she always does, as if she knows, which she probably does.
What did I feel when I sat between the trees? I felt safe, like I could have stayed there forever, like they were waiting for me.
I collected some things from around the house and made a still-life to bring to The Mansion today. I set them up on the table in the activities room.
Madeline was sitting on the couch so I asked her if she’d like to do some drawing. She replied as she usually does “Oh I’m not so good at drawing”. But Madeline is usually willing to be a part of whatever is going on.
And by now I know it’s not true that Madeline can’t draw. She can and she likes to.
Claudia was already at the table waiting and then Georgiana and Nancy came into the room wanting to know what was going on.
I gave everyone a piece of paper and without my saying a word, each person took one of the objects I had put on the table and started tracing it’s outline on the paper. Then with a little encouragement from me, every once in a while, they each made a drawing that I would never have anticipated.
Claudia chose the pink vase with the peacock feather in it.
Georgiana helped Nancy add a little more color to her drawing.
The ceramic shoe that Georgiana traced turned into snake people and then she added a drawing of a smiling Nancy at the top.
And once Madeline finished her drawing of the griffin she traced, she added some more drawings that she made up.
I liked that no one drew what I thought they might. And that everyone really did get into drawing after a while and seemed to be doing it, not because I was there, but because they were enjoying it.
The sheep are messy eaters. They plunge their heads into the hay feeder and when they lift them up their heads are covered in hay. Issachar, one of the new twins, insists on having his front feet in the feeder as he eats. And I often see the one sheep eating the hay off another’s back.
I couldn’t help looking for mine. The exhibit is also going on in Miami right now so not all the #tinypricks are at The Foundry, the gallery we saw them at today. It took a while for me to find mine with all the others, but I did see three of the ones I made.
I loved my work being a part of that floor to ceiling mosaic.
One of the things I love about #tinypricks is how, from a distance, the exhibit appears soft and colorful and visually intriguing. It’s only when you get up close and see all the embroidered Donald Trump quotes that you feel the true power of the exhibit.
And when you know that each piece was hand-stitched by different people from all over the world it has an even greater impact.
Although Tiny Pricks is the genius of Diana Weymar, she has brought so many of us together through it. And we all, those of us who participate and those who view it, benefit from it. I dropped off my 9th #tinypricks at The Foundry today.
Tiny Pricks will be at The Foundry through the weekend of the 21st when they will be having a voter registration event. They are also open on Tuesday evenings and provide materials so people can get together at the gallery and create their own Tiny Prick.
I was doubtful when I made my Kitchen Mouse Potholders that anyone would want a mouse, even if it’s only a picture on a potholder, in their kitchen. But some of the people who bought them told me the most heartwarming and compassionate mouse stories, and I want to share them.
(Instead of making Christine’s mice into potholders I just backed them with a piece of fabric because she is going to frame them.)
” Believe it or not, she wrote me, “when my son was little he had pet mice and to teach him about hard decisions to make in life, when one developed a tumor, he actually chose to have surgery for his mouse, (it didn’t survive the surgery but he had other mice that lived good long mice lives) so we have a fondness for them – tame or wild.”
Then Christine told me how her son went to school to become a lawyer but decided not to practice because he found the law to be unfair. So he went back to school this time to become a nurse. Christine wonders “ if that planted the seed of interest.”
Then Barbara wrote to me about how when she and her husband bought a little cottage in 1994 it came with mice. “What is a cottage without mice?” she wrote. They would capture the mice in Have-a-Heart traps and drives miles away to let them go. Although she did have a feeling some of them made their way back.
But once at home Barbara caught a mouse in a “not so humane trap” but only his leg was stuck. So she nursed him back to health and when he was ready to be released she “watched him high tail it up the hill in my back yard”.
Jackie wrote me the last story in a card she sent with her check. It goes like this….
“Twenty years ago, I lived in a farrowing shed outside of Iowa City (the loveliest little nest). A Buddhist Monk lived there before me, old enough to have spent time in prison after the 1959 uprising in Tibet. He had rigged up a system for “catching” mice by tying bells around chicken bones, which he somehow suspended in a gallon-sized jar. Mice rang the bells waking him up and he would carry the jar outside and set them free over and over and over again.”