I sure wish the weather would turn spring-like...might help me get some momentum going! Cold, gray days and rain or threatening rain are a constant companion of late, it seems.
I've been working on a little piece that is taking a long time...all hand-stitched on a piece of blue handmade paper dipped in beeswax. This is a slow process, as you might imagine, and as I make tiny stitch after tiny stitch in row after row, I recall how I used to talk about my work (it was larger then and much more involved) in terms of the very fact that it took a long time to make by hand. That was, in part, the content. It was about the time it takes to slowly stitch, a meditation on making, impossible to create any other way. There are many things a machine will do, that really are better done that way, but hand stitched lines are uneven, full of wavering, momentary indecision and then decision....they carry the trace of the hand, of the process, of the hours.
But now, I realize, after nearly a year of making, making, making at a much different pace, in order to add pieces to my etsy shop, I have grown impatient with making tiny stitches. I questioned the process all the way through the first half of this little piece...wondering what it's point was...these interesecting lines in different pastel colors that I wasn't even sure would work together...so what....one more piece in the virtual shop known as MissouriBendStudio. But at the same time, the dialogue ran the other way in my mind, as I remembered I used to thrive on this work, watching the piece build stitch by stitch, happy with the slowness, allowing my mind to wander, to discover and watch my own thoughts emerge and fall away, often coming to great insights about my own life and my place in the long, complex chain of the living, the having lived, and the yet to live. And yet, by lunchtime today, I'd made it halfway through the stitching and I realized that it was worth doing....those colors accrued on the surface and interacted in an interesting way (at least to me) and I could begin to envision the rest of it and knew I would continue to the end, trying to be patient and enjoy the process as I once did and as I would still be the first to advise anyone else.
Don't worry, Violett is happy to wait for me to finish this little piece before we continue making the river. She knows that in order to make a six-foot long river, she is a most essential friend and accomplice....that is not something I would do by hand! Look at the angst I go through over sewing a piece of paper 5 x 7 inches! So....here it is, in it's unfinished state....just a pattern of vertical and horizontal parallel lines....it's about more than that, but I can't say just yet, what it might be!