I hung the Black Live Matter sign that I made and held in the protest in our small Upstate NY town a few weeks ago, on the clothesline. When I have clothes to dry it hangs with them or by itself the rest of the time.
The cars, occasional people walking or bikers can see it from Route 22. I like the way it moves with the wind, it makes it feel so alive.
I believe this is an important time, as Clarissa Pinkola Estes says, to “show your soul.”
Debbie bought my quilt that I’ve named Dreamflower. It was Debbie that gave me the piece of fabric above the rectangles of the rocks and water. Her mother brought it back from Japan and Debbie was happy to have it back in its new form.
It was Carol Conklin who gave me the piece of fabric above that. Lothlorien is the title of the batik it came from. It’s a fairy place in JRR Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings.
When I asked Carol what it meant to her she wrote me “Lothlorien was powerful and peaceful nature. The depth of the rock and chasms and the beautiful sounds and flowers and echo of ages were all inspiring. The River was magical and currents entrancing.”
It was Donna who told me that Lothlorien means Dreamflower. I thought it fit the quilt.
My thinking and their thinking. Those are the words my therapist used. She said to me, “That sounds like their thinking, not yours.”
It sparked understanding deep inside of me.
That’s what I’ve been working on the past couple of weeks. Distinguishing between my thinking and the thinking of the people I grew up with. A belief system and a way of communicating that have never worked for me.
As I got older I began to form my own beliefs and they collided with the beliefs that I was taught. When I tried to express my ideas and feeling to my family, they didn’t want to hear it. My way of thinking threatened their way of being.
The work I’m doing now is to separate my thinking from the thinking that formed in my brain so long ago. And it’s beginning to work. Where my thinking and their thinking used to be intertwined, I now perceive them as two distinct things, boxed in with defined boundaries.
So now it’s harder to slip from my way of thinking into theirs. To get from one to the other is a leap instead of a shift.
I do wonder what other changes, besides the obvious will occur inside of me. I have already had glimpses of a greater sense of self-worth and the freedom to feel more deeply.
I wonder if it isn’t already showing up in my work, which I often learn about myself from. The last two quilts I made seemed to evoke a stronger response in people than usual.
This morning I feel drained and low from these realizations. But I understand that’s a part of the process. It’s an adjustment to my psyche and my body, which holds all of this so closely.
Overcast and breezy, it was cool enough this afternoon to stack wood. My quilt waited on my ironing board all sewn together, just needing to be tacked. But I was so close to being done stacking the last of the firewood.
Just an hour I told myself. If I’m not done by then, I’ll stop.
But I knew I was lying, I was close enough to be done, I wasn’t going to stop till the last log was on the pile.
It actually took about an hour and a half to get it all done. It looks a little wobbly on the right side, but I’m not worried about it falling, I think I tied it in pretty well.
Now all I have to do is clean up the small scraps of wood we’ll use as kindling and throw a tarp over the top of it.
I’m not wondering anymore if it was meaningful to take part in the Black Lives Matter protest yesterday. I know it was. Mostly because I can feel it. It felt good to do, good to be a part of.
There were over 100 people lining the sidewalk on the corner of Main Street and Route 22, which I found impressive. All holding signs, mostly white people but not all, from babies being held by their mothers to white-haired couples who looked like they protested in the 1960s or looked like they didn’t.
I was surprised to see the local police as well as State Troopers there. And for a while, a drone hovered overhead.
I stood next to Connie who owns Battenkill Books, and when two guys one wearing a Confederate flag bandana started yelling “All lives matter”, we all chanted “Black Lives Matter” louder, drowning them out.
That felt pretty good.
A few people gave us “the finger” as they drove by, but most people either ignored us or honked their horns in support.
I feel connected to our little town and was glad to see it represented in this way. Glad to see I’m among so many people who believe Black Lives Matter is a just cause. I don’t think this would have happened even just a few months ago.
And I do feel like we were doing something important.
All those people driving by (there was a lot more traffic on a Sunday night than I would have imagined) who either looked at us or tried to ignore us, maybe we made them think a little or even feel something they hadn’t before.
There is power in coming together in the way we did. And knowing that our small protest is a part of something bigger makes it even more meaningful. As each individual voice counts, all the individual protests, no matter how small, is greater than the whole.
I finished my quilt “A Gentle Place”. It’s already sold. I had more people interested in buying this quilt than any other that I’ve made.
I think it may have to do with the time we are living in, how so many of us could use a peaceful place to retreat to now and again. It’s interesting that it came out of this time. Apparently I was craving a soothing place too.
She gave me the two batik printed panels with the serene waves, mountains, and night sky. I even got the name for this quilt from Carol, her batik is called “Evening In A Gentle Place”.
The light blue fabric came from four or five of Jon’s old Chamois shirts. The patchwork is an old quilt top. There’s also a piece of a sundress that I got twenty years ago for $1 at the Salvation Army and wore till just last year.
I’m fortunate to have more of Carol’s printed batiks. She gave me a bunch of them as a trade for some lenses I gave to her for her iPhone. I’m sure to be making more quilts using them.
You can see more of Carol’s work and buy her batik prints and originals on her website amityfarmbatik.com.
Yesterday Greg Burch dropped off two more cords of firewood. I look out my studio window at it piled in front of the woodshed. It calls to me. But I started working on a quilt and it has my attention. I’ll start stacking it this weekend.
We got home from our trip in early afternoon, but I still felt like I was away. My body and brain just didn’t want to jump into life as usual.
So I puttered around, doing those things that didn’t get done in the past two days. I leisurely watered the plants and did the laundry considering colors as I hung our clothes from the days we were away on the line.
I gave Fanny and Lulu the extra bread I brought back from breakfast then brushed them and checked on the sheep.
Then I went to my studio, did some yoga, and meditated till I came up with an idea for my Corona Kimono.