Saturday, November 20, 2010

fabric magic

While I sit in front of the windows I see the amazing plants outside. I don't know the names of any of them because I haven't taken the time yet to really get to know this place called Taos. One of my neighbors is a Taos history buff, and listening to him makes me want to go to the library and absorb everything I can find on Taos. This town was built on, by, and with very courageous and powerful women, women who chose to live life differently, no matter what the cost. I don't know how courageous or powerful I am but I certainly feel like I live my life differently than the majority.

The heads of the bushes outside the window right in front of me look like bouffant hairdos on little old ladies. I would love to trim them and dip them into a can of shellac and hang to dry. Their stems are so tiny and fragile, and yet the blossoms are large and bushy. I watch them wave in the wind, and am amazed at how easily those tiny stems hold up such massive heads.

They dance in the breeze with such grace. They swing in unison like the Rockettes.  They look as if they're nodding yes to me, and I don't even know what question they seem to be answering. Yes! Just yes.

Yes is my new word. I say yes often. I say yes to the next possibility and the next one and the next one. I just keep saying yes, and the possibilities become profound. I've learned to dance on shifting carpet, as my friend Tom Crum taught me. I've learned that the path I'm to be on just took a sharp detour into the dark woods, and god only knows what's on the other side. I take it anyway.

I have deliberately and consciously chosen to lead from my heart, and I've learned to stop questioning where it leads. Instead, I just jump on that train and hang on for the ride. I always seem to know when to jump off and pick up another one.

I don't feel anything is permanent in my life. I don't believe in "death us do part." My life turns on a dime, and what I'm seeing is how much the new train rides are taking me down tracks I've been on before, but this time I'm riding with more knowledge, wisdom, and compassion. I may have the same name but I'm not even close to being the same person.

I'm back to sewing like a fiend again. I came to Taos without any supplies or machines, and lo and behold, I have access to three machines, a beautiful working gallery, and loads of fabrics. Hm... Didn't I get off at that station once before? The difference this times is the depth of my imagination and creativity. I seem to have opened myself up in a way that helps me see how I can turn just about anything into something that can be worn or used. The reactions I get from people who see my work astound me. I'm realizing that they've never seen this kind of work before. This town is full of artists, and yet it seems I've brought something to town that's very different than what's shown up before.

Well, it certainly amazes me when I'm done with a piece, and what I'm noticing is that it's not just me doing it. There are several people involved. For instance, yesterday while working in the store, I had torn strips of silk, knotted them, and then braided them together. I had also gathered circles of them into flowers. While I was twisting the braided pieces together a young customer came in, looked at it, and said, "Oh, that's a fabric necklace!"

Well, it was news to me, but that's exactly what it turned into. When I showed it to others after I'd finished sewing the flowers and buttons onto it, it really was a fabric necklace like nothing any of us had seen before. I am not alone in this venture. This is community. I have a bag of silk scraps from Katie. My dresser is filled with dried twigs, cactus pods, and sage from the mountains. I have a mica pot from Taos Pueblo clay for its magic to fill the room. And, best of all, I have a pile of Dan's tie-dyed t-shirts sitting beside me on the bed. I know just what I want to do with them as soon as I get to the gallery today. I designed a skirt from knit designer fabric swatches while I lived in McKinney, and now I want to cut up the t-shirts to make more. Put primary colored thread in the serger and off I go. It's taking me so long to type this because I keep stopping and visualizing those skirts. Some of the shirts have holes in them, and I want to zigzag stitch the holes in wild-colored threads to add even more texture. The pictures in my head are making my heart beat faster. With the scraps left over I want to try my hand at more fabric necklaces and belts.

Okay, okay.... I've gotta go. I have to get to town so I can cut up some t-shirts.

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