Tuesday, April 26, 2016

giving way

"the creative process
is a process of surrender,
not control."
-julia cameron

having these past few weeks off from work, i've been gifted with something very precious. time. time to contemplate. time to invest in myself. my surroundings. my art.  time for things i have had very little time for these past couple years.  while physical limitations have demanded that i find ways of creating things using a different process than i have become accustomed to, they have also encouraged me to think in new ways. as well as to re-discover old ways.

creatively, i find myself falling back onto past processes with cloth. oiling up the treadle machine and piecing blocks. like these hearts above.  traditional piecing. even traditional quilting fabrics, for i have an extensive collection of quilting fabrics that have languished while i have jumped headlong into salvage and repurposed cloth. ignored for no reason other than my desire to control how i express my creativity. to direct its every movement. stifling it along the way without even realizing it.

i have always been about control. control over myself. my process. my plans.  i know that this sense of control is an illusion. but it is an enticing illusion. full of empty promises that delight the self's desire to be at the helm.  i have seen how grasping for this sense of control can kill one's creativity.  throwing up fences and laying down rules. squelching any real sense of manifesting one's art. one's self.  one must find a way to surrender. to the moment. each moment. to allow the creative process to emerge. whether that creative process is enacted through artistic endeavours, one's employment, cooking a meal, or any other daily task of living.

it's all about the surrender. allowing. being.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

slowly moving forward

:"it matters not
how slowly you go 
as long as you
do not stop."

for an artist working in slow cloth, growing ever slower can be a trial.  though the scar has healed, the hand is taking longer.  months of disuse due to pain and numbness followed by months of restraint in a brace after surgery has left my hand weak.  overcompensation for this in my other hand has raised its own issues as well.  months of physical therapy is beginning to reveal progress, but i still must be cautious.  it reminds me of when i first began to learn to meditate. so many  thoughts and ideas jumping around like unruly monkeys making it difficult to simply be for more than a moment or two.  only now it is the ache and stiffness that slows. foretells tiny electrical shocks and numbness.  i can only manage needle chanting in small bursts. and so i burst and rest. burst and rest.  ever moving forward...

there is joy in these small steps. an opportunity to observe and marvel at the detail and the process. a detachment from the urging thought that one must simply get it done.  there is no room for pressing completion.  only for being with the cloth and stitch.  only for relaxing into the process.  it is quite liberating, really.

funny.  one does not normally think of rabbits and slowness as being harmonious.


Friday, April 8, 2016

moon dance

"there are nights
when the wolves 
are silent
and only the
moon howls."
-george carlin

on nights such 
as these, 
the rabbits dance.

it has been a strange and tumultuous year here at manhandled threads.  struggles with depression, physical injury, emotional trauma.  one does not like to think on things such as these.  but to live fully in the moment, one cannot run away from them.  i used to think they were things that had to be endured. i have learned, rather, that they must be embraced. otherwise, one can never make peace with the disturbance.

i have recently been laid off, due to lack of work. the lay off is with "job attached"...which apparently means there is a promise of re-employment when things pick up.  it makes the insurance issues a lot simpler. it also affords me more time to look for something more rewarding for work. as well as it allows me more time to pursue my creative endeavours. hence my digging through long neglected trunks and baskets of late, revitalizing old cloths.  

in the spirit of spring, perhaps, i seem to be drawn to rabbits once again.  if you follow my instagram, you've no doubt been seeing them hop by more often.  this small cloth, moon dance, is one i started a couple years ago and then lost touch with.  it seems fitting to re-emerge now, in a time when i am seeking to fly once more...