Friday, April 3, 2009

Archival or not?

Wow.  It has been a day.  I learned some things today.  Here they are in no particular order:
1.  If you live in northern NM and do home health care, take a vacation from the Friday before to the Monday after Holy Week.  There is a reason they schedule spring break for the kids then.  I had five (that is 5!) no-shows or cancellations today.  I had 5 kids scheduled.  That is 100%... worst day ever in terms of seeing kids.  Remind me to go hiking in Utah next year between Palm Sunday and Easter.  I decided after about the 3rd cancellation that next Friday, which is Good Friday, which I had decided to work, was now a holiday.  I think that is smart.
2.  NM is windy in the spring no matter what.  The kids at the charter school were doing an easter egg hunt and a little kid just got decapitated by a blown door.
3.  Stopping in at the fiber arts center (EVFAC) is always a good way to spend a half an hour when you've just spent your morning standing outside people's houses knocking on doors that don't open.  You can look at the new yarn, chat with the ladies who work there, and maybe have a few moments to sit on the couch and breathe.  This is what I found while sitting on that couch.

From Tapestry Topics (the newsletter of the ATA), Summer 2006, "The Cycle" by Lany Eila.
"...Suddenly I realized that perhaps the medium of tapestry itself is an apt metaphor for our perilous lives.  We spend extravagant quantities of time and energy carefully planning and weaving our lives and work, tucking in the stray threads, guarding against possible dangers, making it all to last--archival.  And yet we are constructing these lives and tapestries from inherently fragile materials; in the former, with bodies and relationships, in the latter, with hair, plant fiber, and color."  She was writing about a piece she did called "The Cycle" in response to catastrophies in her life and the world.

I have spent so much energy in my life making sure the pieces fit together snugly--sewing in the ends so to speak.  And too much time guarding against possible dangers.  My work life is structured and scheduled to the minute.  It is the only way I have found to make enough money in 3 days a week to allow me to weave the rest of the week.  There are days when my meticulous planning pays off and the day goes smoothly.  Then there are days like today.  Can I learn not to make my life so archival?  Probably...  Would that include more chocolate and trips to the hot springs?  We can hope!

I have been designing work lately that seems risky and far from the tapestry I learned in my traditional northern NM teaching.  I have stalled a little at getting any of this work beyond the design table.  It seems so fragile and from some place so far inside me that I am not sure I want it to see the bright light of day.  I am afraid both of what the piece might reveal about me and the possibility that I may never be able to go back
 to what is safe and "acceptable."  Of course, in time, I will move forward.  If we don't grow we grow bored and empty.  It is the waiting for that courage to kick in that is difficult.


  1. Rebecca,
    Thanks for sharing. I've found in some of my changes that there is a feeling of no going back - I've also learned that I can, but as a more complete person in different ways. I encourage you to try the leap and be true to all of you. I heard somewhere we really don't change as we get older, we just become more of who we really are.

  2. Wow, Rebecca, you've really struck a chord in me in writing about the struggle of bringing what's deep inside out visually in our art. I'm at that very point right now... I feel it in there, but I'm not sure how to let it break the solid, safe, surface.

  3. Dear Becky,

    We have just spent a lot of enjoyable time reading your blog. I read much of it aloud to your aunt (Janet) and uncle (Jim) and parents. We shared many chuckles, laughs and comments. What an incredible way you have of expressing yourself - I LOVED it! Your most recent blog about deep inside really resonated with me and the journey I'm in the middle of. I won't go into details now, but it would be fun to talk about sometime. Thanks for opening your heart and self to us - I hadn't realized you were blogging. When Laura posts a blog, I get an email telling me it was posted - any chance you can set that up? Otherwise, I'll just keep checking more often.


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