Thursday, January 6, 2011

January 6, 2010, Evangeline

It is hard to know what to say about today.  I woke up and felt ready to start fresh again.  Evangeline has become a little bit of a burden, she is so showy and difficult to get into as a wrap around that I am thanking myself for choosing to make several dresses instead of wearing just one. 
Evangeline has had her moments though.  I will miss how towards the end she made me feel like I was getting dressed up for the circus or carnevale.  I will also miss the instantaneous festive feeling I got when first putting her on in the morning.  I will not miss how the wrap around part came right below my bossom and how towards the end of the day my life was being squeezed out of me. 
I feel good about where I am leaving Evangeline.  She started off so fresh and young and has seemed to age greatly as the month went on.  The small rips and tears became weird and unfinished and over mended spots, but it turns out they are some of my favorite patches on this dress... maybe because they were given so much attention early on. 
Now for the anatomy of Evangeline:
Evangeline started off as a simple silver/grey dress that my mom bought me two years ago from Banana Republic.  It all started with a blue silk scarf given to me by a friend.  It was her mother's scarf, and held little significance until I recently found out that her mother passed away a week ago... the scaf was so old that with each wash it kept fraying and ripping, each day i kept mending it, neglecting the other parts of the dress. My futile mending became a rather approprate metaphor for the month...sometimes we have to just let it go.  A long braid was stitched on the left front creating something reminicent of a British Naval Officer and this got me thinking about regalia and how what I am creating with this project is a type of personal regalia. A small gold KingPin pendant was stolen from a childhood christmas bear and added to the front of the dress.  A wool scarf from my mother was added to the sides for extra warmth.  The gold and blue edging of an old Sari that became Evangeline's hem was a gift from a dear close friend in New Orleans.  When I look at it I think of visiting her and touching her pregnant belly (due any day now) the memory still makes my eyes mist up with amazement and joy.  There are felt petals from another friends art.  White embroidery from the cuff of a cashmere sweater, embroidery from an old table cloth no one wanted to buy, and there is green silk from Beijing that I haggled for five summers ago.  The red sequins came from my mother-in-law and the black sleves came from another dear friend in Baton Rouge who I sometimes think of as a mother.  The fleur de lis along with her Namesake were the last items to be added to Evangeline. 
Evangeline, who would have thought so much maternity would make you who you are?  Perhaps you aren't so different from the Evangeline in Longfellow's poem.  Perhaps the "love" and the "light" that is saught after goes beyond just a search for peace.  The phrase "Motherland" is starting to turn over in my brain... perhaps the search is for a place of comfort or even further, a place to belong? 

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