another tangle from "the broken wrist" series.
the hand is hurting, so i took this monotangle challenge from the weekly diva challenge (with a guest challenger this week) and vowed to keep things as simple as possible. here is my 'nzeppel. micron 01, graphite. period.
just about all i could manage today!
<--here is the reason i can't type much.
or type well. or use capital letters.
but this is a vast improvement over the first cast i was in, which included a sling. that meant i was totally one-handed. with this cast, i can cheat a little. not much.
in yesterday's post i discussed how i ran amok with the tangle peanuckle, which was this week's diva challenge. see that post for the details and result.
well...! one of the other participants, susie ngamsuwan, also ran amok, only much more effectively. not only did she produce two gorgeous tiles, but she came up with an easier way of drawing the same tangle. so creative. see her work and her step-out here. it's so worth reading--and check out the rest of her blog! fabulous.
after seeing how she did it, i had to try again. result:
on the left side of the tile i tried drawing it according to molly's original instructions (molly came up with the pattern), but did it very large. i liked it ok, but got lost near the end and had to fudge some embellishments.
on the upper right of the tile i tried it again, very small, but used susie ng's instructions. easy! not only did i not get lost but i experimented with the 'join' between the peas. i liked the effect.
i threw in a couple of mooka and then tried it a 3rd time, using susie's instructions, on the bottom of the tile, and this time fooled around with an inner spiral on the peas. once again, i never got lost and it was fun to draw.
thanks, susie! you're so clever. i'll actually be using this tangle now.
prepare for a tangle gone completely amok. this was in response to this week's "i am the diva challenge #325," from guest challenger Jessica Davies. click on that link to see what this tangle is SUPPOSED to look like. note: nothing like mine.
the challenge tangle is "pea-nuckle," one of my least favorites (sorry, molly!). rather than doing it in a solid block, i wondered what would happen if i 1) tried to bend it in a circle, 2) made the insides of the "peas" something other than straight lines, and 3) connected them to each other not using the usual straight lines. oh dear...
which begs the question, is this even the pea-nuckle tangle anymore? or just a hot mess?
i'm hoping i can use my current broken wrist as an excuse. though there's probably no excuse for this!
since i broke my wrist and can't really type, i assumed there would be no blogging either. but i can't stop drawing. here's my 1-handed version of joey challenge #174.
following that is a 10-minute sketch of the incredibly bulky cast and sling i'm wearing.
my previous post has all the tiles i've been sneaking in 1-handed since the break.
joey challenge 174. the main tangle is "asian fans" and the rest is my embellishments on the lovely be-ribboned string created by suzanne ng. this was a "finish my tile" challenge and if you look at her original, it's lovely all by itself. i used a rainbow lead pencil and graphite for color and shading.
(or should i say "UN-well" ?)
I broke my wrist five days ago and am reduced to typing one-handed. Phooey! Looks as though I'll be on a 6-week blog vacation.
UPDATE: It's true I can't type (much) but I can't seem to stop 1-handed drawing. Scroll down to see the series of "broken wrist tangles." Oldest ones are at the top, newer are farther down.
waiting to heal. still can't type but doing some 1-handed tangles anyway.
this was the first, called "broken," done on june 26, partly inspired by my vision of what's going on at the site of the break
--playing with iphone app on "broken"--
iphone fun with that one-->
a page from my journal on july 3rd
Can't really type but don't want to stop drawing!
UPDATE, JULY 11th:
Let me check...oh wait...still broken.
Here's the next in the series of "broken wrist" tiles...
Here is the same tangle below, run thru an iphone app:
UPDATE, July 12th:
Love that quote by H.G. Bohn. It sums up exactly what I've been feeling about not-doing art.
If ya don't do it, it just doesn't get done. (Bohn said it better)
Why haven't I been doing art...and for so long? Because I moved house. And naively, I had no idea that it would take me much longer to UN-pack than it ever did to pack. and move.
I'm still not done, but I just can't wait any longer to start doing at least a tiny bit of art. So today I managed to produce one Zentangle®:
Wow, it has been so long since I've done any of this work on my own that a blank tile was really intimidating. All I knew was I wanted "something round." And I've been saving tangles I liked when I've seen them on the net. I started off with Banana Braid, which was new to me, and then went to a "mac and cheese" (comfort) tangle by Carole Ohl, and then tried another new one.
Of course, I couldn't resist fiddling with these on my iPhone.
I tried out 2 different colorways above, on the iPhone.
Ahem. So, in conclusion, what I've learned is:
If you wait, all that happens is that you get older.
Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
I meant to tell you that yesterday, but...
It's been so long since I've done anything creative or artistic that I've almost forgotten how. Since there is a vast and growing list of "new-house chores" to do here, I rarely allow myself to do much besides basic knitting. This can't continue, but at the moment, it's what's happening.
However a friend recently persuaded me to go with her to Kripalu for a weekend workshop on Zentangle®, focused on working with strings. It was fabulous and here are some of my tangles (plus a few photos of the class "mosaics," (mosaics = other people's tangles put together on a table, revealing how people who hear the same instructions produce such different art--great fun!).
Here were the two "warm-up" tiles I did:
And then we really began to play in earnest.
Here was the class "mosaic" of our Courant Tangle tile. If you study these, you'll note how everyone does Courant differently. And yet look at the result when these tiles are combined into a mosaic. And of course, they can be turned in different ways for different effects. Mine is in there somewhere, but I've no idea where.
We took a walk on the grounds.
and then we headed back to tangling
When I got home, I played with my own tile using an iPhone app, and here's what I did with the Dutch Button Mandala, using just my own tile:
Meanwhile, back at Kripalu, we were all still tangling. We used some of the triangular tiles next, using colored Microns.
and on and on we went...
Getting away from my new house for a weekend was a much-needed respite. Left to my own devices, I have an "I gotta get the next item on the punch list done and checked off NOW" mentality that I'm all-too-aware is preventing me from getting to do anything artistic. It was wonderful to go to Kripalu and spend an entire weekend tangling.
This is my third Kripalu Zentangle workshop, and each of them has been extraordinarily good. Quiet, quality time with Rick, Maria, Molly & Martha...lots of time to tangle, silence, a gorgeous place for walks, excellent food, and of course, all that original and inventive, compassionate, humorous teaching. If you ever have a chance to attend, DO.
Definition of the word "Respite": a short period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant.
What a gift.
Oh my gawd. Who knew that I would be taking a five-month sabbatical from blogging? I knew I would have to stop for awhile, but never thought it would be this long.
Little did I know that UN-packing on the other side of the move would take so much longer than the packing ever did. I moved in late March, and I am still nowhere near ready to call myself settled.
In fact, I can declare myself un-settled. Very unsettled indeed, on a number of levels.
I am confident that it will all come right in the end, but in this transition things have often felt very broken. The absence of time to make art has been a major contributor to that. I still do not have either the space or the time to draw, tangle, or hook/punch rugs.
I've had down days for sure--but I am making progress and once I sort out some of the remaining unpacking challenges, I'll be in good shape.
In all of the boxes I've unpacked, I've only noticed three broken items. All of them were much-loved pottery, and two are broken beyond repair. Last night I set about to try to fix this one:
It's one of my favorite bowls by Nancy Shotola, whose pottery I've been collecting for years now. When I finished my clumsy repair, it looked like this:
Yup. Bloody awful.
But you know, it made me think of Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing ceramics with gold-infused resin, transforming them into objects even lovelier than they were before. (It's also referred to as "kintsukuroi.") hope you'll take a moment to view the photos on that site.
My own clumsy, non-Kintsugi repair of that bowl meant that when I tested it by filling it with water after the glue had "set" overnight, all the water ran out of the bottom immediately. Alas. Unless I can figure out a way to repair-my-repair, I will no longer be able to use the bowl for storing liquids. But that doesn't mean it can no longer be used, right?
There are life metaphors aplenty here. Such as, learning to let go. Or the famous Leonard Cohen quote, "There is crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." Or the Hemingway quote from A Farewell to Arms about being strong at the broken places.
(Although I think the Hemingway quote is usually taken out of context; I'm not sure that, in its original context, it has the meaning we would like to attribute to it!)
Fortunately I have continued to meditate day after day, and that has undoubtedly kept me on a more even keel. But even with the support of meditation, things have been rocky.
There is simply no hastening the process of transition.
I have truly wonderful friends nearby. And much-loved friends from my previous location have also been coming to visit. I'm thinking of joining a chorus which rehearses only two blocks from here. And I have found a great studio space that's only a twenty-minute walk, if I can ever find the time to begin doing art again.
Here's a relevant quote from Thomas Wolfe's book, You Can't Go Home Again, which encapsulates much of what I've been pondering:
"You can't go back home to your family, back home to your childhood ... back home to a young man's dreams of glory and of fame ... back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory."
I've been thinking about the function of nostalgia in our lives. When is nostalgia useful? When is nostalgia an obstacle?
Here is just one reason I most certainly cannot go back, even if I wished to. It's a photograph of what's underway in my old apartment.
Renovation is well underway in just about every room.
And that is true for me as well--renovation is definitely underway within my psyche. It's turning up a lot of grime as I break through old psychological walls and floors. There are days when I hardly recognize myself. There are days when almost every single thing I do is a "first time adventure." (Exhausting) There are days, hours, minutes, that are dark. There are storms moving through. But, there are these days as well (below):
Whatever the weather, I needed to do this.
To return to my original analogy about the broken bowls: I needed to shatter the container of my life and re-form it.
I'm at the stage now where things are in pieces and I am just beginning to put them back together.
It's disorienting, exciting, upsetting, hard, and comical. This is a stage requiring a lot of patience.
I am not patient.
In fact, I am highly proficient at impatience, heavily laced with whining.
However, I am committed to seeing this through.
As with the art of Kintsugi, If i can mix the gold with the resin here and apply it carefully, then what comes out of this should be even more lovely than what went before. Perhaps that is the one "art" that I am focusing on right now.
Wish me luck.
Here is a poem by Mollie Grant which says it all:
Kintsugi: the Japanese Art of Golden Repair
(I have not been able to reach her to get permission to print it here so I'm just directing you to her page and you can read the poem there.)
And check out this short post for a wonderful poem by Lisa Cohen on Kintsugi.
Yes, I am in the back of a police car here. You can see bars on the window (you can actually see them better in the reflection on the left side of the photo).
I was thrilled.
I think--I hope--this is the only time in my life that I will get to ride in a police car. So why was I happy? Because they were rescuing us. Me and my buddy K. We had set out that morning to drive to CT for a meeting of rug hookers at a good friend's house. While leaving Boston we hit a pothole on the Mass Turnpike and shredded the tire on my friend's car. Argh!!! Nasty.
We limped along on the Pike with hazard lights on and got off at the next exit, which was close, fortunately. I'll spare you the details of a long and somewhat harrowing wait for help (over an hour). The tow truck driver couldn't take 2 people in his truck, so a kindly policeman agreed to ferry us to the garage, and did.
I was in the side of the police car that was apparently for the hardened criminals--no door handle, bars on the windows, hard plastic seat (the better to hose off easily in case of unmentionable disgusting substances produced by anyone sitting there). My friend K was in the opposite seat; her door had a handle and her window had no bars on it. Between us (and also between us and the front seat) was a barrier of clear plexiglass, undoubtedly bullet-proof.
I was so interested to see what all this was like! It was the ONLY good thing about this adventure, trust me. Of course I couldn't keep my mouth shut and told the kind officer that he was giving two hookers a ride. Perhaps that is why I ended up on the "wrong side" of the back seat? I wish you could have seen his face, until I explained I was referring to rug hooking.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The short ride was mind-bogglingly uncomfortable as we bounced up and down over every tiny bump. Those hard-plastic seats are really torture.
I totally loved my ride in the Paddy Wagon.
After which we got the repair done and proceeded to CT. We had to--we were bringing lunch. We got to stay for only 3 hours before we had to go home, and had a great time as always, but I was so disappointed because we usually stay all day and the setting is absolutely gorgeous. Oh well, another time.
Yesterday I was able to move out of my studio here, with the help of a very kind friend, and bring it 90 miles west to my new home. We couldn't quite get everything in, but here is all that's left:
It will be a cinch to move these final things and I can just put them in my car.
Here is the most recent picture from my room-packing exploits:
Not too much left besides the kitchen, some clothing, and odds and ends. It's all beginning to become real. I'm curious to see what the next month brings, and how I will react to it. Which reminds me: it's time to meditate.
So here is why I haven't been blogging, and won't be able to blog much for awhile.
O, mama! My aching back. Truthfully, my back is fine--a major miracle--but my knees are killing me. Each day I set a goal of how much to get done, and so far so good. But wow, is there a long way to go.
It's bad. But oddly, it's not quite as bad as I'd feared.
The plus side is that I'm finding lots of buried treasure.
-- A memorial journal to a beloved friend (pictured) who died many years ago. I haven't seen it for years and it has a number of great photos and stories--I'll have to get it back into circulation with her other friends, who are all still special much-loved people in my life.
--Several notebooks with tarot notes I wrote back in the 1970s.
-- Random photos popping up, small glimpses of a former life.
-- Books I no longer need and can let go of (hurrah!), and wonderful "old-friend-books" I haven't seen in a long time.
So far I have resisted taking the time to dive into the buried treasure, but tonight I plan on indulging myself, going thru the memorial journal and looking through those 40 year old notes on tarot.
“It's easier to die than to move ... at least for the Other Side you don't need trunks.”
― Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), long-time meditator and coach, focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
NEXT INTRO TO ZENTANGLE CLASS:
No immediate group classes scheduled (I'm always open to hearing about a good venue in Western Massachusetts. I am always happy to teach 1-1 and/or in a small group in your home.
Come and amaze yourself!
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society
Skillful Meditation Project