"There are those who receive as birthright an adequate or at least unquestioned sense of self and those who set out to reinvent themselves, for survival or for satisfaction, and travel far. Some people inherit values and practices as a house they inhabit; some of us have to burn down that house, find our own ground, build from scratch, even as a psychological metamorphosis." — Rebecca Solnit
The work of making these aprons feels like the (current, fleeting?) culmination of the path I've been on for the past few years.
It would be tedious work if I wasn't, well, so smitten. So connected to each stage: the cutting, "quilting," sculpting, the breaking and subsequent repair (or not repair) of the surface. The building up, the trimming down, binding the edges, dyeing the whole garment, then the final hand-stitching, trailing my fingers along the new topography I created.
Each step is both a treasure and a treasure hunt.
Each step moves the piece forward: toward curvier shapes, messier surfaces, tiny details ... rich, gorgeous, broken, weighty, complex — basically, toward being more human.
I'm not looking to impose a forced positivity onto them;
I'm not tacking on an epilogue or stapling an aspirational narrative to a freshly buried existential struggle. Instead I've been attentive to what brings me joy from breath to breath through the whole process. It's not a giddy joy, but a joy of deep connected satisfaction. What do my hands want to touch? What tiny detail makes my heart pound at this moment? What structure does my brain want to build? What makes me giggle?
1. Wow it's hard to talk about this and not sound righteous.
2. Isn't this allegedly how I've been working all these years?
Well it comes and goes, doesn't it? But it never comes back in the same exact form. And this wave, as it arrives, finds me more open to what I desire from moment to moment. No, that's not quite it. That's too passive. It doesn't find me. I'm seeking it. I'm opening my self to vulnerability. I'm trusting that my heart can run this thing.