Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 22, 2011

While watching the kids this morning and lamenting my broken washing machine (which should be fixed by Thursday) I have been doing a lot of thinking about this month's dress.  She is still nameless.  She has few stitches on her.  I wear her every day, but I still feel like I am not pushing myself with her... more to the point it's not that I am pushing myself, it's more like I am neglecting her.  You know I think I am realizing that for me art has become an escape from daily life, I can mentally get away when I am working on something, time holds no bearing and it's like I reach a state of transcendence when making art.  But what happens when I need to escape from art?  I know now: Daily life.  For example: I am going to bed early.  I am reading a book at night instead of sewing.  I am managing the business side of my career better.  I am playing with my son.  I am cooking, heck I even have a loaf of bread in the oven right now.  I seek family adventure and book appointments and coffee meetings with every one and anyone (mostly friends and mostly other artists, but still) 
So what does this mean when I have a project like The Dress That Makes The Woman going on for a little over six more months?  Well it means that either I quit or I keep going, pushing through the barrier and forcing myself to keep sewing, even if it is for 10 min every day, or one stitch, but I have to keep going. 
A conversation with my cousin last night made me think about this a lot this morning.  She was talking about how in writing seminars one of the exercises is to keep writing for 10 minutes straight even if you are writing "I don't know what to write" over and over and over again.  It reminded me of Meditation, where even if you feel discomfort, you explore that feeling despite it's presence moving the practice of understanding forward.  I think I have hit this point in my own project.  I have to force myself to keep going forward.  I could quit, it would be easy, but if I keep going even if I am repeating the same dang stitch for 10 minutes day after day, who knows what I will end up with, where it may take me, what it may say as a reflection to this project.  So that's where I am.  I am at a stasis.  I feel stuck, but I think if I can just keep whatever momentum I have, no matter how slow it is, I will still be baby stepping forward little by little.... forward, being the operative word here. 

1 comment:

  1. One stitch in time.

    I had an interesting thing happen Saturday. At work, an applique teacher came in to the shop and showed some impressive baltimore album work she was desiging and sewing. We talked about the fact that although I have tried and really appreciate applique, I cannot do needle turning technique and therefor I avoid the whole thing. And I love the way applique can look.

    So she sat me down with needle thread and fabric and patiently explained.
    "One reason we fail at applique is we, as women, are so focussed on what lies ahead and the next "step", we lose our focus on what is right in front of us. Look no farther than 2 stitches in front of the needle. The other ones will be there when you get there,"

    And she demonstrated, using the needle to turn under the fabric one eight of an allowance and worked her way to the point of a leaf. There she showed how to lock the point down, secure it, then turned the fabric in her hand and went the other way.

    "Think only about that point. Don't concern yourself with the curve that lies ahead. It will be there when you get there,"

    And I thought about the time ya'll were headed home and those guys were waiting in the driveway. Your mother said, "in my mind I was already in the kitchen, turning on the stove, unpacking the groceries.....I never even saw them and Wylie said, "Mother, there's someone there!" And it was too late".

    Be. Here. Now.