Three images to start. How does one start? Always a question. “How does one finish?”, also happens to be a question that plagues me.
Starting in the middle, or wherever one is, seems like sage advice, and I didn’t make it up. See Natalie Goldberg’s books on writing or just about anything by Pema Chodron.
We have snow and it is hanging onto the rooves and curbs, in spite of rain. At least we have power, unlike many in New Hampshire, or even just west of here in Worcester.
I would like to work faster and larger. The whole business of quilting takes a long, long time. It is a wonder I do it at all. But water?!! Brushes?!! More crap in the basement?!!
Last night a scary dream about becoming disoriented… unable to tell which way I came in, I turn, go some distance, turn again, go some distance the other way, hoping something will jog my memory.
Many of my quilts address the uncertain business of memory. Here is one from awhile ago, from a whole series that I made using poppies as the central image. Poppies are an apt symbol for our flawed process of collecting bits of ourselves in memory, because they both signal remembrance (popularized during World War I) and forgetting (think: opiates). The fragmentation of the design is no accident. One thing making quilts about memory, and even painful memories, has taught me in a graphic way is that the pattern of a life makes for beauty, no matter what the components.
Julia Cameron says, “…by claiming our own memories, we gain access to the creative energy that they contain. Memories become a source, not only of inspiration, but of fuel.” In this quilt, I cut up a family photo (transferred onto fabric) found in a second-hand store. I wonder how the whole process would shift were I to use a photo from my own childhood.