Tag Archives: red

Boundaries and interruptions and a red thread

C peeking out

C peeking out

Parenting means being interrupted. And it means improvising.

D itching under cast just like the doctors said not to

D itching under cast just like the doctors said not to

Long gone are the days when I craved a solitary bowel movement, or wistfully anticipated the reclined dentist’s chair for the quiet it represented (those were intense times — with two extremely active boys, neither of them particularly inclined toward napping!!).  With a seventeen and a nineteen year old in the house now, the frequency and urgency behind the interruptions have changed, but the fact of them has not. They continue — as they should.

Add to the parenting — a disabled sister for whom I am the sole support (my brother sends money from the West Coast, and that helps, but NOT with the day to day) and a husband who travels often to Asia, and you begin to get the picture here. Our dog is a piece of work, too – requiring special accommodation for getting up and down stairs, for the correct positioning of his food bowl, and a three-person-applied muzzle for basic grooming. Lately, he’s been ill (I think he’s better, but not quite sure).

Relax! I have already ranted in my Morning Pages. This was done while drinking coffee in Newtonville and waiting for the camera shop to open, so that I could purchase photo paper for D. and then deliver it to the high school (speaking of interruptions)…

(I would love to know what the business types in the coffee shop thought of this deranged-looking woman scrawling across a notebook page in ink nearly as fast as one could speak the words…)

And anyway, if I was going to rant it would be about our fucking computer ‘upgrades’ which have produced a series of repeating and ever-unfolding glitches, such that it is nearly a form of torture to blog (one of the reasons for the gaping pauses of late).

No, I would rather look at boundaries.

White House with Red Boundary

White House with Red Boundary

Last night, I surrounded the White House with an edge.  It really changes the composition, perhaps in too obvious a manner, but I’m willing to entertain it for awhile. Study it some. The thread is red, it is true, but it doesn’t scream red. Maybe that’s because it was hand-dyed in India and billed as “Meditation Thread”.

Maybe it is because there is relief associated with having boundaries. From knowing where the house ends and the sky and yard begin. Recently I have learned the difference between asserting ‘a need’ and shouting a demand.  I discovered that need does not have to be associated with basic survival.

Remedial insight, perhaps. But I share it here because I think it governs my response to this red.

The sky poofs and tuckers in places and will require some attention. I find a lot of quilting to be (in my case, anyway) the resolution of problems created earlier in the process. Not unlike parenting, yes?

buckling-sky

buckling sky

As for the bump in the bottom edge and the frayed intersection of the thread-ends, I am going to let those be for awhile, too.  I like the idea of an imperfect boundary, or one that flexes to its surroundings. I like the idea, too, of having an obvious place where the boundary’s ‘gate’ resides, so that it does not come across or function as a solid and permanent fixture. Maybe having had a swinging door for so long makes the idea of a fixed boundary too difficult.

when the edges meet (and a bump)

when the edges meet (and a bump)

In any case, it is food for thought.  And, here are some red lines from the garden this morning. Once you start seeing a red line, or a window (right, Jude?), or a bird in your work, you start to see it everywhere.

red lines as stalks/support

red lines as stalks/support

Around the other side of the house, rhubarb is ripening! Almost time for my annual Strawberry Rhubarb pie. An exception to 2013’s gluten-abstinence will have to be made!

stamina

barn-scrambled

I am back to piecing a big ole barn.  Some windows are pieced.  Some will be appliqued.  The sky will not remain all one fabric as shown, and the foreground will extend downward, some.  It is cold in the basement now, so I won’t last too long, but it occurs to me that one to one and a half hour increments of effort on this is probably about right.  The first barn, some of you will remember, is now in the quilting pile.

time plus little acts equal

“time plus little acts of love = a Good Life”

Made this Valentine this morning, with red silk, a sheer grey/black poly, and a handmade pink paper with sparkle-inclusions.

The paper must date back to pre-school volunteering – the glitter is a dead give away.

Ever since Jude posted something about the possibility of ‘sympathetic evolution’ – possibly by pairing old and recent work, I have been wondering what this might look like with my bag of tricks. A few weeks ago, I clicked some shots from an illustrated book of poems that I created in college – so we are talking mid-70’s.  The one below inspired today’s card:


This is a collage using a dark-room created floral image.


A couple of weeks later, a chip of red fabric happened to find its way underneath that grey/black polyester that I am currently so in love with, and the resonance spoke for itself.



Today’s card is a reminder of the power of deadlines, the utility of saving a piece of paper for 14 years, and the value of re-visiting our earlier work.

While this little heart-felt card merely hints at what a more robust ‘sympathetic evolution’ might look like, it is a tasty hint, and I’ll take it as a signpost!

               Practice note:  it helped, some, to add black shadows to the white-stitched letters with a pigma pen.

One poppy to remember, another poppy to forget

Just added another poppy to the Cement Sack quilt.  This one is ON TOP of the tulle.

Transferred two black and white xeroxes onto coffee-stained muslin.  The trombone did not come out so well, but a trident on the same page did.  Both are in the upper left.

Here is that figure that has shown up in the Witness quilt and the wet-paper-basement-calamity collage.  She is the one who dreams, who has seen, and who seeks to go beyond all that lodges in the past.  She is part of all of us.  This recent posture is one of burdened grief, but she has other moods as well.

Perhaps “moods” is the wrong word — “patterns of consciousness” more like.

And speaking of drugs (the opiate reference in the title), here is the holder of my current drug of choice — a coffee mug!  Suitably chipped, stained, and very much in use.

A busy day of gardening and travel ahead.  A good thing.  A change of perspective and some fresh air will definitely do me good.