Unraveled

A current of remembering simmers beneath the surface, on the edges, seeking awareness.  Everything I do is stitched with its color.  But I see only its reflection, outlined on the other side of the mirror.  My core, my being, is threaded, waiting, but my mind is lost.

Holes fill my reasoning.  My synapses are confused, the connections severed.  As the navigable landscape grows ever smaller, all my maps lose their meaning.  Transformations multiply, and life becomes unrecognizable.

The world now exudes a silent numbness, a freezing intensified by the coldness of wintered minds.  We refuse to enter into a relationship with what is real lest we become reshaped by its mystery, its extremes, into awakening, opening.  We cling to our tiny virtual selves, unable to see beyond its confines.

Where is history located?  I search the fraying patterns for a place to begin mending.

The phrase from W.S. Merwin provided by Lisa for this week’s dVerse prosery, Everything I do is stitched with its color, fit well into the earthweal prompt, where Brendan asked us to respond to an interview with poet Jorie Graham about how her writing has come to be intertwined with environmental concerns. He also provided a poem from Merwin as inspiration.

52 thoughts on “Unraveled

  1. OK, sorta twice interesting. Been considering quilts of late. These encourage me.

    (and OK, I’m lazy) Browsers/themes don’t so much make for BIG pictures. Think I already said, I like big. And sometimes big is the only way to really see (our eyes can absorb a lot a lot). Illustrated here by these quilt images. (my request) Let each picture link to the full size WP stored image, so one simple click brings it to sight. (what a fuss I am)

    Last, oh my, these quilt images DO align perfectly with your poem text. Near inseparable. I was both surprised & pleased. Lovely.

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    1. Thanks Neil. Not sure how to link to a full size image–if it’s too large it takes forever to load. And I don’t have any place online or even in a cloud where my images are stored–they are all in a portable drive.

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      1. OK me WordPress & you too. I do ONLY Classic editor (no no Block ed). That said, load pic (whatever size you want). Then in editor, insert image; select, then “attachment display settings” asks, alignment, LINK To (you set “Media File” = the actual file you uploaded, WP adds in the link by itself. Last “size” as you wish (I near always say “full size” and WP will auto crop down for the posting page. BUT THEN when a reader clicks the image, it goes to another page displayed at full size, or as big as that browser/window allows. Make sense?

        Sorry if I made that too (something). But that’s a no-effort thing to do. Unless there’s something different about how Block Editor works (I don’t know that). Me old fashioned HTML user so Classic is only way I go. (and also means all image storage is on WP not you & they’re pretty generous that way) OK, me shutting up. I love what you do however you do!

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        1. WordPress won’t let me do anything but block, its’ been that way for several years. So it won’t work with the way I post. If I download a large image to make it smaller, it won’t load. Classic was much better, you’re lucky they haven’t made you leave it! But even then, as I recall, it took forever to download a large image to the library and sometimes it wouldn’t work at all.

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            1. I appreciate it Neil, but technology is not my thing. Trying to find the energy to deal with it is beyond my capacity most of the time. I have too much to deal with already.

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  2. “As the navigable landscape grows ever smaller, all my maps lose their meaning” — I have been longing for big glimpses into small things, lately, wanting to do small still life to be able to observe something with more focus. I feel certain a different map of meaning is found there, expansive even when the territory is very small. Not surprising since I’m such a Bonnard fan, I like the reverse side of the quilt a LOT! It’s so lovely.

    Isn’t today your birthday? Happy birthday. Hope you’re having a marvelous day.

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    1. Big glimpses into small things…I’m a fan of that myself. Expanding the details.
      Interestingly, the embroidery was done for an exhibit of textiles inspired by Anni Albers, and they decided to hang it with the reverse side out. So you have company in liking it best!

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  3. Kerfe, I am glad you put the messed up fabric first and the mended one second. It give a possibility (illusion?) of hope. How you skillfully articulate the state of consciousness of the now is eerie in its ring of truth. I read Brendan’s essay but did not read all of the included poems. Missed Merwin! Will have to go back and read.

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    1. Thanks Jade. I decided to leave the threads hanging on the back–this piece was done years ago for an exhibit inspired by Anni Albers. I used a wrapped embroidery technique from traditional South American textiles, as Albers studied them extensively. They decided to hang it threaded side out for the exhibit! I’m not sure where it is now…somewhere in the storage room (I hope)

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  4. I find the fraying and unraveling as mere bumps in the road… I used to cross stitch and embroider, and each unraveled stitch was another lesson learned. Now, those are too hard on my eyes. But even with my crochet, those stitches bring comfort when I work with my favorite patterns, like visiting old friends. Kerfe, this was stunning!

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  5. I love your stitching and the way you relate it being stitched into the environment. I love the third last paragraph and the line at the end says it all. Where are we to begin the mending?

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  6. How chilling and defeating it is to realize “We refuse to enter into a relationship with what is real lest we become reshaped by its mystery, its extremes, into awakening, opening.” Homo miserabilis, the haunted hunters of the Anthropocene. I don’t think there’s any way anyone can avoid being infected by that. But we do what we do.

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  7. Oh, this post. I got ‘truth bumps’ at every turn. The perspectives of textile art always fascinate me, but I never before saw the state of my mind in ‘the back of the work’. Also: “We refuse to enter into a relationship with what is real lest we become reshaped by its mystery” captures something I’ve been ruminating on a lot lately: the semantics of reality, enchantment, mystery, and magic. People in my witchy circles are talking about Re-enchanting the world while I’m thinking No, the magic of the world is real. It’s custom and politics that are the sorcery we have to strip away. I had never really articulated before why I created the Fairy of Disenchantment but I get it now: the mundane is actually the malign enchantment, from which we need to disengage to see what is real and intrinsically magical. Lots to think about there, but thank you for this beautiful way of getting me started.

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    1. Thanks Sun. There’s so much truth in what you say. “Custom and politics” hide the magic. If, as you note, we could (would?) just discard those layers, the enchantment would be waiting for us, loud and clear.

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