In my mail today was a small flat envelope with the return address of a place from which I could not remember having ordered a thing. Huh???
I puzzled over it, put the mail down to do a few other things, and didn't open it until just now.
This cracked me up! I had recently sent a donation to the Insight Meditation Society, or "IMS," in Barre, MA, and in response they sent a lovely thanks and included these three masks. A total surprise!
IMS is renowned for their meditation instruction, and with good reason. In times when Covid-19 isn't interfering, it's a tremendous place to go for a weekend program or on a meditation retreat. As you might imagine, they are offering a full slate of programs online at the moment to keep people safe during the pandemic. These messages of lovingkindness really made me smile.
I was recently away for seven days on another lovely, extraordinary silent meditation retreat at IMS in Barre. When I returned, I still had four posts to write in order to finish chronicling the Tarot Rug Project. Finally I got that done--it felt so good to complete. Since then, I've needed to catch my breath and catch up with the rest of my life.
This week I finally got back to the studio, and began to sort out how I'm going to handle this gigantic (for me it's gigantic, 3' x 6') Moon Runner, also known as the Moon and Clouds rug. I dyed all the background (and blogged about it here and here, as well as in a few other posts). Got all that done back in November, but I hadn't tried out the test colors I dyed for the moon or clouds. So in the last three days, I've done some experimenting. Here was my first try at a cloud:
I kind of liked it, but wasn't convinced. What was it missing?...it seemed too dull to me. But I beavered on, and today I tackled one of the moons:
...and finally got most--not all--of it done:
...and now, yes, the cloud is definitely too dull. But I think I'm loving the moon! And the cloud is very fixable; it just needs more yellow.
Am not certain how the moon will look against the background, but there is only one way to find out. More work on this tomorrow. I am getting WAY excited about this rug.
The Diva Challenge this week (Diva Challenge # 236) is to "Tangle Unexpected"--in other words, to tangle on something you wouldn't ordinarily tangle on.
My life is "unexpected" at the moment for sure. If you choose to read more about that, see the text at the end of the post; otherwise, I hope you just enjoy the pictures.
Here is the original untangled photo that I chose for this challenge. I took this picture of the kitchen door at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, a place I love to go for long meditation retreats. I don't think I even noticed the door until the second time I went there (not very mindful of me!) and when I saw it I was transfixed by how lovely it is.
As you can see, the lotuses are transparent and the rest of the background is frosted glass. At the moment I took the picture, something turquoise-y was behind the lower lotus, while the one on the upper right showed kitchen equipment the reads gray-brown.
I love this image and it almost seemed sacrilegious to tangle it, so that was the challenge. Here is what I ended up doing.
Tangles are Printemps and Scrawlz, along with some random work. Using Sigma Uniball White Pen, and a tiny bit of Derwent Colored Pencil.
Not sure what I think about this. Part of the challenge was to keep it simple.
THE "UNEXPECTED" CHALLENGE FOR THE REST OF ME:
I wanted to work on this image because, as I said in my last post, I need some zen! And looking at this picture reminds me of the work I do every day in meditation, and every time I go to IMS. Just stay in the now.
Without going into detail, this is the worst episode of back pain I've had in 30 years. I am confident that I can work it out and get back to my usual sturdy self, but the last two weeks have been totally unexpected and a big challenge to my remaining mindful. I want to do anything BUT stay in the moment when I'm in pain! Which of course makes it even worse. Thankfully I found a new chiropractor (and I think she's very good) and I'm slowly recovering. I was without a chiropractor when this started and that's what allowed things to get so out of control. Glad to be on the upswing again!
It's been a real test of my willingness to be mindful. Not to mention civil.
Auntie Acid says: "It's bad news when you get to the age when your back goes out more than you do."
Stay healthy, everyone!
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), a long-time meditator, a certified meditation teacher and coach, and focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society