Friday, May 24, 2013

Postcard From Paris

Have you ever written a letter to yourself? I've done it twice, once writing from my current age to my younger self and once writing from an older age to my current one. It's quite an eye opening if you can manage not to over think and to simply start writing and see what emerges.

At the Design Outside the Lines workshop last June, Marcy gave us all a postcard. They were randomly distributed and we were to trust that we had received the card we were meant to receive and then write a note to ourselves and give the card back to Marcy to be posted from Paris on her spring trip. Mine arrived last week.

I had forgotten what the card looked like but not the message. The words would come back to me at the oddest moments throughout the year and each time the message made a little more sense. I wrote... In the shadows are wonderful design lines. Embrace the shadows. In the shadows is no place to live. Come out of the shadows. Live bold. You are more than what you fear.

I knew where the part about wonderful design lines came from because we'd talked about shadow images in the workshop. The rest has only started to somewhat make sense in the last few months and even still, I'm not entirely sure what it means now or will mean in the future. I wasn't aware that I was being fearful but I do believe that the root of all issues is fear and in particular the fear of rejection.

A couple of years ago, I listened to a sermon called The Land Between that talked about the Israelites wandering around in the desert on their way to the promised land. They were between here and there, a place where many of us find ourselves. Lost. Confused. I was definitely feeling that way. What I loved to do had ended, I had no idea what was next, and it seemed that everything I tried failed.

While staying with my daughter, we went to her church and the sermon was about Moses, the Israelites, and the land between. Moses was forty when he left Egypt and became a sheep herder for his father-in-law. He was eighty when God called him to go back and lead the people out of Egypt. He was one hundred and twenty when they - finally - got to the promised land. In all that time, God was preparing Moses for a purpose. That's a long time to wait. I was struck by how old he was and by the fact that we as a culture want to rush our accomplishments into our youth and yet there is so much life to explore in each decade. I am wiser, calmer, more confident, a much better artist at fifty than I ever was at twenty - much better at many things. Life experience is a valuable thing.

Recently, I sat down to do my bible study and the section I was reading was on Moses and the land between. Hmm... sense a theme... do you think I'm supposed to be getting a message? The author talked about how if you are in the land between, you are there for a reason and if it's rebellion, you'll know, otherwise, it is most likely to rest, to heal, or to prepare. It occurred to me that I'm here for all three. I definitely needed rest, there was much to heal, and for a while now I've felt that I'm preparing for something only I don't know what. I'm - somewhat - resigned to the fact that I'll be here - in the land between - for as long as it takes which as far as I'm concerned is taking too long but then again, nobody asked me. 

However... me being me... and now that you brought it up God... could I please know what I'm preparing for. I asked for a floodlight because I don't want to go haring off in wrong direction. Been there, done that. I didn't get a floodlight but I just might be getting some aisle lighting like the kind you see on an airplane or in a theater. It's baby steps and I couldn't tell you what it all means because I don't actually know other than to say that I'm excited by the things that have been clicking together lately - books and articles I've read, sermons I've heard, websites, blog entries, the color black, line, texture, details, colorful accents, statement necklaces, why I might have such a large collection of jacket patterns, the fundamentals of design applied to clothing, small occasions to teach, and more. Something is going somewhere. Who knows? LOL - not me so...

... in the mean time I'm carrying on... here... in the land between. I cut out a dress last night and it struck me - considering how much black I wear - as surprising that I don't already have a black dress in my closet. It was time. The fabric that I used for the lining in the purple lace dress was so gorgeous I almost didn't sew it in and the only reason I did go ahead was because I had enough yardage left to sew another dress. See that black pile. That's the remnants. There's more zero waste sewing coming up.


Because the pattern I borrowed from Patti was too small, I traced the front and back bodice of my T & T t-shirt (New Look 6735) and then copied the design lines from the OOP Vogue 8936, did an FBA, and adjusted the skirt pieces to match the new width of the front and back bodice. It seems to have worked out. We'll see when I'm done.

I didn't clean yesterday. A friend phoned just as I got home from getting my hair cut and by the time we stopped talking it was lunch. My hair was all gorgeously pretty - finally - and I didn't feel like putting on work clothes and messing it up. Then I got an email from Patti with a great blog link and we ended up going for coffee to discuss it and by the time I got home late afternoon, I just wanted to sew. Today too. I'll get back to cleaning next week. What's left is not going to take nearly as long as what's already done. It's manageable... especially after a weekend of sewing. I'll re-energize.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - eventually, we do get from here to there


  1. Hi Myrna. All I can say is "Thank You" for sharing the words on that postcard. They have taken hold of me.

  2. "Grateful - eventually, we do get from here to there"
    Yes, indeed we do.

  3. Makes me think about seeds, and how some--usually weeds--sprout immediately, anywhere, and how often the most delightful--like sweet peas--need a long time underground. Elle

    1. LOL - I would much rather be a sweet pea than a weed. Makes me smile. Thanks.

  4. To heal, to rest and to prepare. Some thought provoking questions on a thought provoking post. LOL

    My question is why do you feel that you need to prepare? Are you not happy with where you are now? If now is where you were to remain would that be such a bad thing?

    Those questions aren't necessarily posed for a response. They're just bits that came to mind as I was reading your post.

    Congrats on a good haircut!

    1. I wrote a posting a while ago talking about that exact dilemma. While I enjoyed owning a business, I am also enjoying not owning one right now and while I enjoyed creating art pieces for exhibit and sale, it's wonderful to be creating only for me at this time. I loved making textile art but I'm happy to not be doing it and to be sewing fashions again. There's so much to learn and explore and I love that. It took a while to get to this space. When your career ends not of your own choice, there are so adjustments but I think I have - for the most part - made them. I do still very much miss teaching but... otherwise... yes, I am happy and it's a good space to be in. BUT... life shifts and if I am offered an opportunity that matches the things that make me happy, I'll definitely look at it. It would most likely involve supporting individual creativity because that's where my heart is which means that as I explore my own, I am at the same time preparing for the potential to help others explore theirs and of course, I get to blog and share that way so I am happy in the present even though I have that feeling. It's not weighing me down. Just a tickle in the background. That is so hard to explain. Did it make sense?

      LOVE the haircut. I feel so much better.

    2. LOL - and last night - while I was falling asleep - I thought you forgot to mention that you'd like a paycheque. While I know from experience that limited supplies can be a tremendous push for creativity, it's also true that it requires money to participate in workshops and purchase supplies and experiment with new ideas. Since I love to do that, a paycheque would be lovely.

  5. It made perfect sense.

    You mention enjoying creating for only yourself and I agree. Many years ago I did custom sewing and alterations. It got to a point that I did not sew for myself at all. There was no joy in it. I looked at it as a job just like the job I was getting paid to do for others. Shortly after that point I quit advertising and let the business trickle down to nothing. It took me a number of years before I enjoyed sewing again. Friends and old customers still ask every so often if I'm still in business. If it's something really small I may do it otherwise I send them to someone else I know that does them.

    You mentioned missing teaching. That's something I know I would definitely enjoy. To pass on some of what I've learned over the almost 40 years would be fantastic!

    A paycheck, as we Americans spell it, would be wonderful to help fund all that goes with this obsession. Yes, I call it an obsession! I feel like that's all I think about most of the time and my husband would say it's ALL I think about.

    1. LOL - I'm glad because I wasn't sure I would have understood myself.

      I refer to the selling of my creative soul as my prostitution phase. Harsh but true. I won't be going back there again. Any creative business I have in the future will have very defined parameters. I would say this is a fear that holds me back because I don't ever want to lose the love of fabric and creating.

      It is delightful to teach. It sounds so clichéd but it's true that you learn so much from your students and there's an energy to seeing them succeed that nurtures you.

      I was emailing with my husband who is in Guatemala on a mission trip and thinking about what an amazing man he is... in the dirt... and the poverty... listening to me talk about my fashion discoveries and ideas for the future and not telling me that what I'm interested in is so shallow in comparison but saying you're so good at this, it's what you were meant to do. I am totally obsessed and he has always supported that and encouraged me to push the boundaries. It's very very lovely. LOL - I think I'll keep him.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.