Tag Archives: path


It is possible that I am making the same quilt over and over again.
Oh look, there’s another blue moon! And — surprise! — another hut, with its two-toned roof angled skyward.
And, my goodness — two in a week!! —  ANOTHER two-toned roof and ANOTHER moon — stitched together!
Leave it to a Buddhist to address the matter of repetition with eloquence.  Gary Snyder:

Repetition and ritual and their good results come in many forms.  Changing the filter, wiping noses, going to meetings, picking up around the house, washing dishes, checking the dipstick — don’t let yourself think these are distracting you from your more serious pursuits.  Such a round of chores is not a set of difficulties we hope to escape from so that we may do our ‘practice’ – which will put us on a ‘path’ – it IS our path… The truly experienced person, the refined person, DELIGHTS IN THE ORDINARY.  Such a person will find the tedious work around the house or office as full of challenge and play as any metaphor of mountaineering might suggest…. One goes out onto the ‘trail that cannot be followed’ which leads everywhere and nowhere, a limitless fabric of possibilities, elegant variations a millionfold on the same themes, yet each point unique.

From, The Practice of the Wild.

Here is a peak at what I really think about this latest Moon Hut quilt (depicted with my feet above).

I make the sky out of a linen so soft it begs to be touched.  The swirls on it suggest wind to me, and are a green I struggle to name – sea foam?  Moss?  The dragging of thread along some of the swirls pleases me, accentuating their drama and direction, providing a welcome counterpoint to yammering, televised heads debating Medicare’s future.  The orange leaves and red leaves play off of each other, and provide a feathery sense of movement, and a nod to the incomparable work of Jude Hill, who explores feathers and wings this season.  The moons of the foreground place sky into the ground – a kind of reversal that also pleases me.  There’s even a little redemption here – for I am making use of a fragment from a barn quilt that couldn’t find a place until it landed here.  How can all of this not be (to quote another icon) a ‘good thing’?!!

Today I will practice thinking about these hut and moon quilts as “elegant variations” – which I already know to be true, if I am honest, if I stay away from over-thinking, if I flick doubt away like a pesky gnat, denying it purchase.  That’s a practice, too – flicking doubt away like a pesky gnat, denying it purchase.

Where pleasure resides, repetition is no effort at all.

“A path through the woods” – the Sketchbook Project, 2012

For this year’s Sketchbook theme, I chose — “a path through the woods”.  I wanted something that offered the possibility of optimism, as well as a prompt for a narrative with a beginning, middle, and end.

I like the idea of surprises, of being lost, and of finding clues about the way out or forward.

Some close ups of the bark and markers make me want to try and translate these textures to cloth.

And suddenly, there it is, the way out.

With just a few differing perspectives, there is a rudimentary story.

I found a path leading into the woods, and followed it.  Through twists and turns, past leaves, branches, and rocks, I lost my way.  I paused to take pictures.  Destruction from a recent storm caught my eye, as did an inky dark pool with its aura of bottomlessness.  At some point, red markers, striped on trees, signaled the direction.  I followed.  Red stripes.  Then, suddenly, sky – a teeny triangle of it – appears.  Taking off my Converse all-stars, I left the woods and went home.

Today, the rain plops down and a chicken boiling on the stove fills the house with its homey aroma.  Very little beats this kind of day.