“Do not wait for the last judgment. It comes every day.”
“Life can be magnificent and overwhelming -- that is the whole tragedy. Without beauty, love, or danger it would almost be easy to live. ”
I finished "LEFT," as I wanted, before the stroke of midnight 2011/2012. So since I wanted to post the final version and mom's birthday was close to the finish date, and they are related, I'm posting the completed cloth here.
“Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
The following image is the central part of the cloth, the part most important to me. That is where the story began:
“Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.”
The story of the cloth and title, "LEFT," have a lot if not all to do with my mother and her illness. It also refers to my sister.
Left can mean many things. It can be opposite of right. It can be the past participle of leave, as in go away, gone. Or it can mean staying behind. All but the first definition applies to this piece. My sister left when she got married - and is rarely present. My mother ages and changes and forgets and returns and leaves everyday. Her memory is part of the past participle. The figure on the right, the only singular figure that is completely stitched is the person that remains or perhaps memory. The other two figure, what could be an adult with a child, or a female figure with a younger person (my sister is two years older.) If you look at the figures moving "left" you can see them migrating out of the frame, eventually becoming a shadow, a memory. Something that might peak from around the corner, depend on the light, the time of day, or the presence/absence of the person.
Also, where the two figures in the center are standing, is the only place that remains unstitched. There are a few other rectangles placed around the figures - also not stitched. Those are the voids from where we might emerge, get lost in, lose our memories, and who knows, maybe where we might meet again.
It was a hard piece for me to deal with and think about...also the one that took the longest to complete. For some reason completing that last stitch, like O'Henry's leaf...
There are many many stitches here. Call it Kantha if you want, running if you like, or just walking, as Jude calls it. Either way, the cloth has a soft feel. Very much like my mother's touch.
And finally on a cheerful note:
I wrote a comment on Velma's blog which prompted a reply from her that gave me an idea. These were the flowers that were popping up on mom's back yard lawn before the snow came. Mom loved watching them out her window - she noted them everyday and after regretted they were covered. Velma suggested I pick them and dye with them. Well, I pound the dandelions on cloth and pressed the pansies. I will use them to make a little stitched bouquet for mom for her valentine.
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." And this Winter, until it started to be Winter, maybe we had a third spring as well.
“I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain. One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself, forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”
― Albert Camus
― Albert Camus
The quotes above are attributed to Albert Camus. Don't ask where they are from...the bad librarian didn't keep her citations for these, she just, "made notes for a short story," dear Chekhov.