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Friday, July 1, 2011

My own walk in love

The past months have been a bullet train. Zooming from idea to an installation show traveling across the country has me marveling at the way life continues to surprise  and change everything. Making fabric panels holding the concept/feeling of love is an ongoing invitation and exercise to me. I made another panel yesterday. The last one before the show travels to Sacred Threads. So good to place myself in the creative ways of fabric. To allow the rest that comes when I dive in to deep create. Subtle joy while following the next right step in Process Quilting . I am, it turns out, a Modern Quilt Guild kind of gal. Who knew that this is a phenomenon occurring in the next generation of women taking up quilting. I have thought I am a bit of a strange quilter. But no. We are everywhere! I teach process quilting. The last two days I have had the great pleasure of using this technique to lead a workshop in making a panel in a day. Huh? Two days for a panel in a day? Well, the total number of hours was one day. I had to take care of some extreme car troubles that interrupted my time to do the workshop in one day. I mean, living out in the wilderness where there is no cell service and little traffic is not the place to let car troubles go neglected. I had my car die five miles from my home. That means get out of the car and hitchhike. There is no other way. Period.

When friends call me to ask how I am doing I can feel to my core the richness of a new panel and the ways in which taking care of everyday troubles are all becoming the place I choose to walk in love. Human dramas erupt around the installation. Invitation to walk in love. Not so simple things either. The very great temptation to let my own reactivity fly out of control. But somehow I find the way to respond rather than react, and I credit the exercise of making a panel with assisting me to respond in love.

The Walking in Love Spiral is alive. It is constantly changing. This third showing does not include Katie's panel. It is not the same without it and I did miss it while hanging the show. But I felt good about why it did not travel to Herndon, Virginia and the Sacred threads show. The panel had a different sacred mission. The spark of the idea to retire Katie's panel from the show and offer it to my sister-in-law Debbie came to me when my dad and I traveled together to visit my brother Phil. I wrote about Katie's panel in one of the first blogs. Her sudden death at age 26 propelled me even further in to this project. Katie was an extremely gifted artist and I felt her nudging when I made the panel to honor her life. The first months after losing a daughter is such a tender time, as if there is ever a time when it is not tender to lose a child. I brought the panel to Debbie. Her tears, the tenderness of placing the panel around her shoulders...I can no longer say that this is a simple art installation. It is dynamic. Alive. Growing with three new artists giving me panels to take to Sacred Threads even as one panel leaves. The show is never the same twice. No day in life is ever the same twice either. The invitation always exist to choose how I bring myself to this day. To any and every thing that arises in this day. Truly not always easy to come from the place of love, nor is this done perfectly. But I learn how to recognize the feeling of love in myself. Simply put, love is where rigidity is softened. Where grace lets me say a kind word instead of a sharp retort. I am not perfect in this. No way. But this walking in love installation has become a very interesting teacher. Who knew? I did not when I started out and followed the flash to make this happen. But I am grateful that life is anything but dull and we are a long way from love growing cold.

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