The crucifix has been a visual motif that has captured my interest and shown up in quilts and collages for quite some time. So when I placed my square for the Hearts for Charleston quilt on top of another quilt-in-progress and saw a cross shape, it seemed worth thinking about. All will evolve after I receive the contributed squares, of course, but right now I am liking the idea of each woven square stitched to another square with the suggestion of a cross on it.
It’s my hope that the final piece will be something of beauty, filled with a sense of hope — which is why I picked a pretty deep pink for my heart instead of a blood red. The cross motif would suggest martyrdom in a way that is seamlessly consistent with a Christian church, wouldn’t it?
The underlying quilt, seen above and below, is mostly pieced (top and bottom still separate and there is the matter of the red line to decide about). Its working title is “Diaspora”. Here are a couple of old quilts where crosses and hearts meet.
After I received a comment from a cyber-friend that she still hid eggs for her teenaged sons (enjoy her blog here), we decided to do the same. Besides, I DO like to find them later in the year (we’re talking chocolate eggs, here — not hard boiled!).
If I had inherited my father’s Instructive Prank gene — you know, that’s the chromosome that makes a parent unscrew light bulbs that have been left on one time too many, or that sends a soccer ball sailing down into a gully at property’s swampy edge, only to deflate it the next time it is left in the middle of the hall? — I might have hidden a bag of chocolate eggs here in the sneakers and dirty socks:
For better or worse, that’s not quite my style. The lamb is marinating, although not in the full six cups of red wine that Julia Child recommends. I only had a handful of bay leaves, too — not the 37 or 40 that she specifies. Still, it promises to be delicious.
Something distracted me last night between cups two and three in my yellow cake preparations. I stood there wondering, “Should I add another cup or not?!!” The worst of it is, I knew better!! Otherwise, at Christmas time, I wouldn’t have asserted to a room full of friends at a cookie swap that I’d reached an age where I needed to measure ALL MY FLOUR IN ADVANCE.
Oh well. The cake bombed. Sadly for my waistline, it is still pretty yummy and I will manage to consume more of it than I should. The lemon squares, on the other hand, came out just right.
Given the situation with my sister, I have this opportunity to see how little today is about the food anyway. It’s about occasion. We will be transporting our meal to the rehab where she currently lives, and will share the time as a family — not worrying too, too much about the temperature of the food or the cake’s crumb or lack thereof.
It is a stunningly beautiful day here in Eastern Mass. Exactly the kind of day that could make one warm to the idea of rising from the dead.
One of these crosses is going to be for my friend Joan. She loves Easter more than any other holiday and I am thinking and thinking of her today.
the red Victorian silk, for some reason, very hard to pierce with a needle
The sagas go on and on, don’t they? Started this crucifix series before “the flood”, and why shouldn’t my particular saga have its biblical moments? Because what day doesn’t go by, really, when I’m not looking for redemption in some form or other? I am looking for redemption even on those days when it seems as though I am just trying to get through. I am looking for redemption even on my good days — and by that I certainly don’t mean times when I feel like the master of my fate — but rather I mean days when I have enough wherewithal to entertain the POSSIBILITY of accepting life exactly as it is. But here’s the thing, can one be —
”seeing things and accepting things exactly as they are”
and still find redemption?!! Isn’t wishing for a world in which every mess is an opportunity and every delay, packed with meaning, by DEFINITION, a state of non-acceptance (because, let’s face it, there ARE situations in which there is no silver lining to be found!)
Well, anyway, there D. and I were yesterday, waiting and waiting for ‘the shoulder guy’. It had begun to rain again, a status of weather that, THIS week, provokes a palpable dread. The patients were flying in and out all around us, but D.’s name had not been called at the 50 minute mark (I complained), or at the 65 minute mark (I complained again), until at 75 minutes, after nearly leaving, and after listening to D. ask, “Why am I here?! This is useless”, a few too many times, the assistant called us in. The assistant called us in just moments after I had written in two-inch letters on the intake form, “WAITED 75 MINUTES”, which of course made me wonder — had I written “WAITED 35 MINUTES” on the form 40 minutes earlier, would we have been ushered us in sooner?!! (You begin to see just HOW superstitious I am).
Anyway, I stitched on this piece for awhile, not for one moment asking myself to call in the Christ-energy of patience, or noticing the disparity between image and mood. That’s how irate I was.
I dyed the crocheted thread in onion skin-water
After 10 minutes with the doctor (who apologized so excessively I began to feel a little abashed), we scuttled off to X-ray. And back.
And, OMG, the news was a little shattering (forgive the pun). What first seemed (to me) back in the dead of winter as one in a long series of whinge-fests, and then seemed (to the chiropractor) like a separated shoulder, turned out to have been a fractured collarbone. [YIKES!!!] (Healed, already, I’m happy to report).
So, I apologized to D. (although not excessively). Then, after quietly pointing out that the amount and volume of complaints make it hard for me to pick out any particular one as needing extra intervention, D. and I devised a code for ‘this really, really hurts and I need you to do something about it’. Our code is, “Mom, this is an 8.”
A symbol of the effort in pushing all this fabric around!
This was GOING to be a post about the basement and the progress down there and how the disaster HAS turned into this amazing re-shuffling, re-ordering, and investment in storage units that has me psyched and energized (in other words, it has turned into an OPPORTUNITY). I was going to add something about the dynamics of dependence and understanding one’s personal style of attacking a monumental task (because dear reader, what most of you didn’t know is that my husband was in India for ALL of this, which gave me additional OPPORTUNITIES for learning). Perhaps tomorrow I shall return to that, after another two inches of rainfall, unless, of course, I have my cherry-printed wellies on again and am threading the hose out the back door and trying not to cry.
"ample moisture" indeed
PS What shows up in people’s readers when I ‘update’ post? I tend to write a draft, publish, and then update typo, by typo, and it would embarrass me if EACh of these appears…
The face is Shrinky Dink, the body, unspun wool, covering a bark-less stick. A garbage-picked scarf wraps around his neck, and a found rusty nail is tied to the torso. The wool is nailed to the stick with small brads. Most of the nails represent, well, nails, but the rusty one represents the spear that impaled Christ’s body.
The cross is a found piece from a little red wagon and arms are either day lily or hosta stalks saved from last year’s garden.
The hands are Shrinky Dink as well. I have embellished the face with beads and waxed linen. The crown of thorns are florist toothpicks on wire.
The face comes from a book of African portraits that I have (and currently can’t find, in order to cite). This man was in an ecstatic trance.
The most satisfying part about making this figure was the sense of completion — the face and body had hung around the studio for at least a year before the other components found their way to the piece. There is nothing like a marker in time (like a holiday, and specifically, Good Friday) to provide a little motivation.