Saturday, June 14, 2014

Early morning musings



I know that many of my family members and perhaps many of you all have often wondered why I spend hours 'messing about with needle and thread'  and why I love to learn more about embroidery, new techniques and art, history and architecture etc. etc.....Well, it is a bit like I always say to my niece and nephews  - there is a beautiful world 'out there' and it is a great adventure to discover even just a little bit about it.  Appreciating the manifestation of the human spirit in all the beautiful things it can create is a lifelong passion for me. 

I woke up early this morning and just happened upon this poem by Yeats after a long, long time. 


THE LAKE ISLE OF INNISFREE
 
"I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
 
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.
 
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core."
 
(William Butler Yeats)

 There is indeed such an island off the coast of Ireland near Galway - it is known for Aran knitted sweaters, for it's quaint cottages and windswept coves BUT if you read this poem again it is also a metaphor for finding this place, this haven within us - it is always there, always present - no matter what turbulences our lives are presently embroiled in .... it is up to us to consciously focus our minds to such a place, to seek out this haven that allows us a respite, a place to create and reconnect to the beauty that surrounds us; it is a sort of meditation - something that is highly recommended by many all over the world as you all know.  For me, when I embroider I find this place of quiet and reflection quite often...especially when working on a Japanese embroidery project - just working with filament silk has a soothing effect on me.  I hope this helps explain my 'nutty' addiction for all things needlework.  It is my deepest hope that my niece and nephews will also discover something that they can be passionately 'lost' in.  It is important to find a 'job' / career that you love but also just as important to nurture the creative spirit within all of us.  This 'spirit' is sometimes strongly evident in the artworks of some of the old masters - in written language, in art, sculpture, buildings etc... but always present in nature.

The past few days were an amazing mish mash of impressions for me... a flurry of activity, learning new techniques, appreciating the customs and food of a distant country and enjoying the company of my fellow students, and relishing the quiet moments in the early morning.
My teacher was absolutely incredible in many ways - she was excellent in the way she explained things but her mastery of the medium was immense... I was amazed and invigorated by just getting a glimpse of what can be achieved by 'just a needle and thread'.  I am looking forward to exploring yet another area of embroidery!

I also found out that many people were actually reading this blog and following my progress on the samplers that I was working on.... they just read it but had not become 'followers'. And here I had been wondering about how important the whole blogging scenario was and if my posts were even relevant in the whole scheme of things.  They all said that they learned a lot from my ramblings... so perhaps I will post things more often ...
At the moment, stitching samplers has again taken a backseat to some of the other things I am involved in - hardanger, realistic technique and Japanese embroidery are areas of my focus for now.  The hardanger piece is a submission again so I cannot post pictures before it is judged.  I have again received requests from the EGA to send 4 of my MasterCraftsman pieces to the National seminar to be displayed there... trouble is they are still languishing in the appropriate 'finished' drawers!  It is a great honor that they continue to request my pieces each year... one of these days perhaps. 
As you all know by now, my focus remains refinement of my technique so framing up, displaying my pieces etc. are less important than the 'journey'.

Hope you all have a great weekend ...