a glimpse. a phrase. a note. stillness wrapped around calm. silence that highlights the dusty background. i sit in my workroom and sew. and think of the moments i want to make into words. or the paper i want to cut. and the light i want to capture on the page. i fill my head with all the dreamily undone. it all remains an undulating dance of change.
we have a brand new baby in the neighborhood. tom & i went over last night to meet little isaac and congratulate his parents. he is so tiny and vulnerable, yet simultaneously strong and vital. it was lovely to sit and stare into his warm little face, his tiny mouth automatically suckling and his hands curling into fists and straightening out into shockingly long tiny perfect fingers. they had a very dramatic and frightening birth experience and as we were talking about it, i was struck with the reality that when my grandmother was having her babies, she would have died had she experienced something similar. that reality was enormous to me. my great-grandmother was an unofficial midwife, the woman who was called to assist with births . and i'm certain she was helplessly part of many births that ultimately ended in tragedy. each new life is enormous. welcome, little isaac, to the journey.
today is my grandmother's birthday. she died 12 years ago. but i have a big piece of her in me. the stories of her life as a wife and mother on the family farm in 1930's prince edward island fuels my daily work in the studio. i think of her often while i'm sewing and wish she was sitting across the room giving advice.
things are a little one dimensional lately. i only sew. and walk with edgar. and crash on the couch with my husband watching mad men or shows we've dvr-ed. i guess it's simply the time of year. i have alot of stuff i have to make. and just not enough time. but i still am energized by what i'm doing. i'm planning the stuff i'll make next. and....i'm living for the day i can get upstairs to my paper room and start building collage again. the process is simple. while i sew, i plan and create momentum for the art that will eventually come to the boiling point and charge it's way out. years ago i would try to force the art all the time. after several years of this i lost the vision, the perspective and grew discouraged. but it would never disappear entirely. it always is there. not necessarily patient. but there. and now after many years, the rhythm is established. it is good to find a way to make everything i need to make.
it's hard to believe that in just a little over a month we are going to be in the full swing of the holidays. i am busy now, preparing all the items that i've promised my customers. alot of time in the studio making stockings and napkins and quilts and totes. it's a nice time to let the people in your life know how special they are. so i'm making lots of nice, thoughtful little tokens that speak volumes. it's fun for me. there is a lot of happiness and love that goes into everything i make. and i have only a couple more weeks to get the studio stocked and ready.
our big blue boy, edgar, turns 5 today. we just returned from our walk through the harbor. gorgeous crisp morning. now i'm off to the studio to make napkins and aprons. but he has the cats to keep him company. happy birthday edgar.
i've never known november to be a barefoot month. but last night, when i stumbled from my bed at 2 a.m. to take edgar outside, there were no shoes by the kitchen door, so i plunged out into the night barefoot with just my cotton 'marie antoinette' nightshirt on. i was not the least bit uncomfortable. the wood porch floor was gentle on my feet and the air was warm. like an evening in late august. what a rare night this was. and i stood in the night, just barely dressed, completely enjoying the moment, while edgar sniffed around in the carpet of dead leaves. neither of us wanted to go back inside.
our days have been so lovely. but by 5.30 pm we are all wrapped up in night. the fires lit and lamps on. these long dark evenings settle around us, waiting to be filled. the darkness stretching before us. this is when i draw the most. i pull out notebooks and my tiny tin box of conte and jars of ink and pen nibs and start making a mess. tom plays guitar and i scribble out drawings. maybe we watch a hockey game. or a favorite sitcom. but, the long dark evenings of late fall and early winter are when i itch to draw.
the harbor is empty, boats lining the edge of the water. a crane lifting them gingerly and dripping. so naked and vulnerable. a boat hibernating on shore is sad in a singular way. my favorite, a wide wooden yacht, who waves and smiles in the water, is now sitting stiff and cold in it's winter hold.
the light is strong. we walk with bulky coats. the fire smells warm and there are still a few leaves that whisper on branches. i will wash the floors and make quilts. november is strong in my bones today.
we live in a large town, not a large city. but a large town. we have a university. we have a military base and a military university. we have a community college. and several prisons. we have teaching hospitals and a thriving tourist industry. and we have a wind farm. massive wind turbines that change with the light. i call them 'the angels'. they stand just across the lake from us on wolfe island, looking out over the lake at us, at times glowing with their mammoth wings moving in the wind. they harness the energy that the wind generates off the lake and filters that to our power grid. a sustainable power source. i am pleased that we can offer clean and sustainable alternatives. and i'm equally glad that i'm not living directly beneath them. it was difficult for me to watch during the construction phase, as the pristine vista of lake and island that feels like part of my home, was changed forever. there are 86 turbines, each of them 400 feet high, which is a dramatic change. however, now that we have lived with them for over a year, they have re-created the vista and have become the view i now embrace. finding a way to function in a sustainable way comes in all shapes and sizes and is a lengthy process. so, we try in our home to make changes that make a difference. we are minimizing disposable paper products in our home. we use cloth napkins. and cotton cloths for cleaning in the kitchen. and lots of tea towels. i started making tom hankies a couple of years ago and he always has one in his pocket. i make them to be fun and functional. stylish and re-usable. we are all able to make our own homes function with just a little less waste. it gets simpler and simpler. and that, i suppose is my point. living simply.
i feel like quilts are alive. they reflect all the little joys that make life special. they emanate love and warmth. the quilts i make blend a grandmother's ideals with a fresh youthful flair. there is a nostalgia for seasons past combined with hopefulness for a bright full future. you can find me online at www.chasinglightningbugs.com