Sunday, April 29

into and between

I'm stateside.

Thinking about what I'll do over the next three months, and then after that. Thinking about where I want my work to go, what I want to continue. What I want to leave behind. About making and how my relationship to it changed this year.

I was learning a new language, a new system of thought, a new culture, a new place. And that took a lot of my creative energy. I wrote. I thought. I took long walks. I began a series of drawings that I am still making almost every day. But I did very little in the way of my business.

My movement now feels interior, inward. I wrote in my journal before I left don't forget your own rhythms of writing/not writing (making). Make your choices for you.

I feel lots of blank space. Reentry. Things burn up, get lost in the new atmosphere.

See you soon.

Friday, April 13

about today

I knew, of course, when I arrived, that today would eventually come. And, back in October, when I had no apartment, no easy way to stay in contact with my family, no community, no sense of my place, no idea of how to connect to my students, and little to no command of the language, I was counting the days. I marked them off on calendars I made myself.

This was my last day of school here. I can't believe it. It's unreal that I won't come back here after the vacation; unreal that there is a good chance I will never see many of my students again. It is my students who, along with a few other (very, very special) people, made life here beautiful.

Hearing Pierre's maximum-volume HELLO I-RAANNN! as he sped past my classroom to German every week (no one here pronounces my name right, but that's okay). Petulant Adrian who refused to say goodbye but wrote me a 'hello note' instead. Sweet and funny Claire and Léa. And the two-hundred-some others, all of whom somehow became a part of me. Who came to say goodbye today and cheered for me and made me cry.

I have their photos and I have their notes, and I have a tiny pair of garnet earrings from them. But I would rather have another year.

Thursday, April 5

on beauty

3rd set
For the last few years, probably about as long as I have been making clothes; or a bit longer actually, I have thought about dressing myself. What it means, what it can do for me, how I can use it as a means of communication, how it can be art.

I love beautiful things: the feel and look of shibori. The yellow silk petticoat I have. Wool. That's one reason why I make clothes--to have really lovely things I couldn't afford if someone else made them. To have the pleasure of making them, too.
7th set
When I was in Paris last week for a day, I saw a man wearing a scarf made of heavy silk chirimen printed with shibori; it was navy blue and black and the shibori pattern was (as is typical) white. It took my breath out of my mouth. He wore it witha black wool coat and he carried his son in one arm. His son wore red. The colors, textures, patterns, the two people. Beautiful.

How material matters to me: I don't like to wear synthetic things because they don't feel beautiful. They don't merit the work. Beautiful objects, beautiful materials. My hands, my body want to know this, not just my eyes.

I once broke up with someone in part because he didn't make anything. He didn't understand the value of making, of materials. He didn't need to touch things. He didn't value made things for their innate beauty, the quality of having-been-made.
11th set
A friend and I talk about making journals to record what we wear every day. Sometimes I follow the wardrobe_remix community at flickr. About a month ago I began drawing my clothes as I wore them (more or less--there are a few fantasies here). And that moved into figuring out how to draw myself, too, what I look like. How I express myself through my clothing. How many nuances of communication are part of my daily dress. Getting used to my face (which I don't see much).
5th set
Drawing my clothes lets me be free with colors, try out things I would not have otherwise. It's easy because I have nothing to lose; these are just doodles, croquis, nothing of importance. I can be free with the lines, I can scribble, I can make mistakes. I have found beauty where I didn't expect it.

I want to live in a way that is the least harmful it can be. I want to make beautiful things and live in spaces that are beautiful.

I want the way I am in the world to be an extension of beauty to other people, too.

(Whenever I can I will go out in the world singing.)