Lately I've been feeling like I'm seeing portions of my life through a time-lapse film--lots of people and activities and comings and goings over many geographic areas and many years. I think this has been heightened by the fact that, during the past week and a half, I helped my two children each move into dorms in new schools, away from home, and rushed my beloved dog to the vet in fear that he was getting ready to leave us soon too. The very good news is that the kids are both happy and adjusting well, and the 13 1/2-year-old pup is on the mend and coming home soon.
This afternoon I'm packing up "That Good Night" (below) and shipping it to Houston, Texas for the Festival Handwork Showcase: Quilt, Knit, Stitch. It's a new exhibition that's part of the huge International Quilt Market and Festival held in Houston later this fall; portions of the handwork exhibition will then be traveling through the end of next summer. The title of my embroidery is inspired by the Dylan Thomas poem "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night"--a poem I love but always respond to with mixed emotions. When we are nearing the end of something truly important to us, is it better to "rage against the dying of the light" or let it go with grace, dignity, and acceptance? (Or am I misreading the poem?) It's a question I am content to ponder as a question, and my sense is that there is no one right answer that applies equally to all situations.
Sometimes I wish that I could see a time-lapse film of the creations, transformations, comings, and goings of the materials that make their way into a finished piece of my art. In "That Good Night" there are antique coral beads, freshwater pearls, glass beads from the Czech Republic and Japan, hand-dyed cotton embroidery thread dyed in northern Illinois, hand-dyed fabric from Madison, Wisconsin, a metal button from who-knows-where, and a cigar box from the Dominican Republic. Oh if those lovely materials could talk to me and tell me all they've seen and done and experienced. I think I'd especially love to hear from the antique coral beads and the cigar box.