I know we've had winter this late before. Four years ago to the day, in fact, I'm pretty certain we also had snow. Today we had snow plus drizzle ("snizzle," says our local forecaster), plus now rain. It's grim out there, and of course, in Boston, the Marathon goes on. Admiration for those runners!
Much as I dislike heat, I'm ready for spring and even--gulp--summer.
Spent part of the morning coloring this tile. It has a story attached (see below).
So here's the story. A few days ago, Cris Strovilas Letourneau--a CZT and author I admire--found out that while she & daughter Alexa were visiting her sister for an overnight, their house burned to the ground. Unfortunately, their husband/father was inside and didn't make it out. He died in the fire. I cannot imagine the grief and shock and loss.
To make bad matters even worse, it now appears the fire was started by a burglar who was in the house. Of course, HE got out just fine.
There's a GoFundMe page set up and I've contributed, but I've been feeling so badly for Cris and Alexa. Other than sending prayers, there's not much I can do (I don't know her, have just met her once), and then Sonya Yencer, another CZT, created a tangle named SoulStar with Cris and Alexa and Cris's husband in mind. So last night and this morning I did the tile above.
While working on the tile, it came to me that the front "star" (lower right) is for Cris, the star tucked behind that one is for Alexa, and the "lead star" that appears to be a comet in the upper right is her husband, on his way through transition, leaving that golden trail behind as he sets out on his journey. The fact that his circle is smaller seemed to me to be about the fact that he's given up a physical life and is now on his way in soul-form.
My heart goes out to them each day. May their loss lessen, even though I know it will never go away, and may he travel safely into the Light.
"Body at rest, spirit free."
Back in the studio--at last! I cannot believe how happy this makes me. I started my current rug, Micmac, the first week in March of this year. "Starting" is defined as beginning to color plan it., not actually starting to pull loops. By March 20 and 21, I was actually beginning to hook. Here is how it looked then:
On the left, the pattern before I began. Middle: Fooling around with colors. I loved those colors, but couldn't make them work throughout the rug. On the right: How I started the center motif. So...that was back in early March.
I worked on the rug pretty steadily for the next 4 months. See my blog post answering the question, "How long did it take to make that?" here.
In July and August it was too hot in the studio to do anything will wool, so no further hooking got done. In September it was still very warm but the bigger obstacle was my wonky back, which made even driving to the studio impossible. Walking? Unthinkable.
Finally two days ago I got in there for 90 minutes. And today, for three hours! And I walked. I'm very excited. So here is the rug now, after basically 4 months of work (24x42", aka 61x107cm):
Today I was able to finish off the motif in the lower left border, and then I was able to add the motif in the upper border (center top). Here's a better look at the start of the top border that I completed today:
Feeling good about how this is turning out.
The background is Jeannie Benjamin's fabulous hand-dyed wool in a color called Old Underwear, (!!) and I love the way it sets off the rest of the rug. Check out Jeanne's website and wools at New Earth Designs.
While I was hooking today I was listening to the Mindfulness Summit recordings and was, frankly, beside myself with enjoyment. My back is beginning to heal completely. To add to all of this, the weather today was perfect: sunny and cool but not chilly.
How lovely to have a day like today.
Around 2 pm today I was standing outside in the lovely sunshine; a bicycle whizzed past and I noticed the cyclist was wearing a singlet, shorts and running shoes--with a Boston Marathon number on the front and a Boston Marathon medal dangling on the singlet above the number. A marathon runner going home!
This person flashed past me so quickly that I did not even have time to notice whether it was a male or female. Doesn't matter. I was thrilled to know that our race went so well this year, after last year's tragedy (and the subsequent triumph of the survivors).
"We own this finish line," Joe Biden said, and it's true. I was impressed that anyone could run 26.2 miles and then get on a bicycle and pedal home. You'd have to shovel me onto a front loader a mile into the marathon, never mind cycling afterward! These athletes have courage, resilience, and stamina.
Congratulations to the runners, the survivors, those who lost loved ones last year, and all the first responders who worked so hard to make this year's marathon a remarkable event.
Seemingly unrelated (but not!): I am just starting to work with colored pencils and here's a first attempt (on paper entirely unsuited to this medium). A lot to learn, and so much pleasure ahead in the learning.
When we draw, paint, act, write, photograph, hook, knit...name your medium...I'm always struck by how often we are disappointed when whatever we produce doesn't fit the original image in our heads. It doesn't "measure up." This is so common. Certainly I experience it, and I hear it all the time from others. What is this tendency to disappointment?...when often, when we let the product sit for a few days, we go back and see something in it that is uniquely ours, and which stands very well on its own.
Does the above photo look exactly like the apple I drew it from? No. Could it have been better drawn? You bet. But it's a start and I like it now that I've let it sit awhile. And with this record of it, I can watch myself improve over time--IF I practice.
I wonder if there are disappointed marathon runners today, people who didn't finish or didn't finish in the time they'd hoped for. If so, I want you to know that no matter how far or how fast you ran, you are my heroes. You prepared. You showed up. You worked it. And if it didn't turn out exactly as you expected, so what? You did something uniquely yours, and you inspired so many others.
And to that anonymous marathoner and cyclist who flashed past me this afternoon: Be proud! I sure was when I saw you.
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:
I'm teaching a Beginning Zentangle® class at the Greenfield Community Center on May 29th from 1-3 pm. They do not have a website so please call them for more information.
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