Until the Feeling Sticks…

I planned a hike for this morning. I figure once school starts up again and the soccer season hits me fully upside the head (that starts tomorrow), I won’t have as much time to be wandering all over the place. I’ll write about the hike later. But I was sitting in a parking lot getting ready for this hike, and I had had a bad night and a bad morning, and I was already trying not to cry (as usual, what’s new), but…my ex emailed me (and a little while later, the girlchild texted me) that his mom had died last night…and I lost it. I’m not the most emotionally stable person at the moment, and I haven’t seen her in years, and yes I’m divorced and all, but she wrote me every year, usually more than once. And even when it was getting hard for her, she still wrote…to me. She kept up that communication for 10-plus years post-divorce and I always greatly appreciated her doing that, for not cutting me off completely, for keeping the lines open, for her news of a family I no longer officially belonged to. She was a caring woman and I will miss her spidery handwriting with her tales of music and fruitcake.

So I guess I didn’t start the hike out in the best frame of mind.

I’m not processing most of the day any better. I hiked…well, walked really. I went to the store. I weathered the teenaged girlstorm of last-minute planning (I’m kind of tired of that storm, I must say). I graded papers. I read a little.

More importantly, there was art. I think no matter the pain in your heart, whether sadness or loss or just a plain old bad day, being creative, even in a stupid paperwork kind of way, is good for all that. I’m not happier right now, but I am less anxious, more at peace.

I managed to iron down the whole Celebrating Silver quilt this afternoon…

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I did it all on the entryway floor (luckily I chose to do this BEFORE we removed the very dead Christmas tree from the house, thus scattering pine needles into corners where they will not reveal themselves until some time in August). I had the whole quilt ironed together in a few large chunks: the earth base, the lower torso of the Crone with the Maiden and the Mother attached, the one bird, the upper torso with arms and staff, and the head and hair entwined with cat and owl. There were also some smaller loose pieces that couldn’t be attached until the whole thing was down on the background fabric.

It took a couple of hours, maybe three, to get the whole mess attached. At one point, I was looking at it and noticed the one dirt piece was much longer than the others…

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Why? Fuck if I know. I cut it off.

Once I had everything sort of tacked down on the background, I moved it to the ironing board and tried to do a better job of attaching it, spraying each section with water and heat-setting it for at least 30 seconds.

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I can’t show you the whole thing until the exhibit opens…in October. Seriously. I’m sorry. It’s really cool though! Seriously. It is. I’m happy with it.

Of course, I have hours of stitching left, so I should hold on to my feelings of relief for a bit longer. The happiness is a temporary feeling, chased away by anxiety over getting it done this week.

Despite having prewashed every fabric in the quilt, about three of the darker browns bled…

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It’s not too obvious and I don’t know if I care. I have used colored pencils in the past to deal with that. I can do that again.

I set up the machine for the stitch-down phase, to start tomorrow. Meanwhile, it’s under that towel.

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Which is under that cat. Yeah. I know. Damn cat. She has a T-shirt that says Occupy Mom’s Quilts.

My brain is already thinking ahead to how it will stay occupied when this one is done…I have the breast drawing I showed you yesterday? Friday? Can’t remember what day it is now, let alone when I posted about that…I had enlarged it months ago and started taping it together tonight…

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Once again, brain short-circuiting reveals itself. One section is copied at the wrong percentage (how the hell did I do that? Must have been unconscious) and I missed another two sections completely…so tomorrow, I will be going back to the copy place to deal with that.

I also started cutting and taping some of the smaller drawings I copied earlier during break…

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I want a whole stash of drawings ready to go…this one needed to be filled out on the right. I often run out of page (I have been drawing things off the page since 4th grade, maybe earlier…the problem is not solved by bigger paper) and have to tape bits on to finish the drawing. I need to draw feet for one other one I got taped…

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Anyway. These smaller ones are about 14×17″ or so. Maybe I will do one of those first? I do have another smallish quilt top that needs to be stitched down as well. Maybe I will find time for that this week…just continue the stitch-down process after finishing the big one (the big one with tons of pieces that will take me forever to stitch down, who the fuck am I kidding?).

I only got three of the smaller ones done, and now I need to fix another copy issue with one of the drawings. I really did not have full brain power when I went in to do these…amusing (or not) since they were done on two different days, about four months apart. Apparently my brain will not be returning soon. It has left the building and wandered into another time zone.

I meditated with cat on lap.

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At least she’s warm. I’m always cold these days. I take my iron pills and the higher thyroid dosage, but it’s not helping. I’m constantly freezing. I need a fur coat (not a real fur coat, but a grown one, like Babygirl has…just carry it around on your skin). I’m OK with genetic modifications that might keep me warm in winter.

Meditation is focusing on feelings still…I’m good at the feels. I’m not good at good feels, just the feels themselves, mostly sad or anxious, occasionally angry. Some people think I should be angry more…more often, more angry. I can’t find a lot of anger. So the meditation says that intellectual, rational thought can obscure underlying feelings…yup. Not mine, though…I told you. I’m good at the feels. I’m not so good at the rational part. I can be intellectual, but I am ruled more by the emotion, the instinct, that gut feeling…Mr. Meditation says that feeling is about knowing what’s right for us. Sigh. That’s the part I’m having issues with right now. I know what’s right, but it isn’t making me happy. It doesn’t feel particularly good. I get little twinges of it, I remember what it feels like…sort of, when I got the whole quilt ironed down (yes, the one I can’t even show you right now)…so that is a good thing. I will just keep doing that until the feeling sticks. And if it happens to stick around for any other part of my life, awesome. I don’t expect much at the moment. But I will be prepared with lots of artwork to pull me through the coming months. Art Saves Lives. Seriously. It does.


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