A Stitched and Wing-ed World

Margaret sewing collageAlmost once a week my friend Margaret and I walk together which means walking while talking and talking while walking. We frequently have to rest in places where were we not talking so much we’d not need to catch our breath, but that’s okay; it’s nice to stop and see her face.

The other day we walked up the trail to the water tank. The steep trail that heads up (and up) from the road, ending at Jacks Peak’s Lower Ridge Road, where Margaret and turned right, happy to be able to walk on a wide, flat road. There she told me about making the collage (pictured here) in a workshop she’d taken with me several years ago.

“Did making it lead me to what I’m doing now?” Margaret wondered. “Or is what I felt called to embark on what got me to make it?”

“A premonition picture?” I asked. Just like dreams—daydreams and night dreams—can lead us, can be indicative of what’s to come, so can the art we make wake us to new, previously unconsidered possibilities.

In Margaret’s collage we see a wing-ed woman sewing, focused on her work. Below her a horizontal row of stitches leads to a window. The woman appears held, elevated, above the fray. In the bright sky, sun-like, is a stitched circle inside a circle. Above that, the Roman Coliseum floats at a tilt—ancient culture is suspended, right above her, easily accessible to the woman’s mind. And there to the right an old, rusted skeleton key, ready to unlock what needs opening.

In the intervening years between when Margaret made this picture and now, her life has changed a lot. Just as happily married and just as happily raising her three daughters, she’s hardly above the fray, but she is sewing and studying the art and craft of it. Readying herself for a new career, Margaret is stitching her way into her future. A fine teacher—I’ve taken hand-stitching classes from Margaret that have greatly influenced and enhanced the art I make.

When we enter into the world of art-making, we allow our deeper selves, our subconscious, to hold the reigns for a while, to make choices, instead of being entirely reliant on our rational, conscious minds. We then make ourselves available to our greater knowing that is numinous and luminous, magical and surprising.

Those of us who make art are made richer and more whole by engaging in it. The ballast of our lives strengthens. You never know what door your imagination key will open onto—ah, such vistas and turning points and new-found truths.