Tuesday, October 18, 2016

letting go

I like to collect leaves and feathers and other windfall when I walk the dogs. Sometimes I arrange the items on an old chalkboard. I think everything looks good on that chalkboard, it's like candlelight for people. 

The large catalpa leaf was soft and supple as cloth so I had to see how it would hold up to stitching. I had been thinking about the ritual of leaves letting go and falling from their branches this time of year, slowly building a thick layer on the ground to blanket the earth, tucking in everything that needs to be kept warm through the winter. I loved slowly drawing the needle and thread through the leaf cloth imagining, wishing really, that I could make us a blanket out of leaves. And then after that small success, I sewed a running stitch on the already-dried smaller leaf...and that worked too. 

October's calendar moon cloth is from a past full moon sewing ritual here and the leafy knitted bookmark pattern is here.

Our family was together on the full moon to celebrate our version of the Mexican Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos, a time of honor and remembrance. Our altar is set up with candles, strings of lights, and mementos and photos of ancestors and beloveds who have passed. We craft/play/visit/watch football in the afternoon and have a candlelight dinner when dark falls. There is always the same chocolate cake for dessert, a favorite of our little boy, Corty, who passed when he was seven. And we always share memories of loved ones and pass photos around. Lastly, we write something to let go of, something no longer needed in our lives, onto flash paper and then light it, one by one, throwing it up and watching it go poof and disappear as it falls.

Honoring, remembering and letting go, but mostly it's just about being together.

Friday, October 7, 2016

look, honey

I haven't held needle and thread in my hands once since I wrote here last...although I have held and sunk cloth into a mordant bath and then wondered why on earth it turned brown -- from a mordant? And I have picked and brewed one zinnia dye-bath. And I held the camera at just the right time to photograph a chickadee in action and then some plants that seem to think there is still time to grow and blossom even though it nearly froze last night. Maybe they know something we don't.

I have been lucky to hold the hands of some dear friends. And there is the sprite whose whole four-year-old body I held and squeezed and kissed the top of her head. And I acquired some new crystals and gems to get acquainted with by sensing their energy in my hands. Dogs to pet, writing, cleaning. That is mostly what I've been doing with my hands.

In October the veil between the worlds thins. Sometimes, on an inner level, we can hear and feel our loved ones beyond the veil. And maybe they can hear and feel us too. Experiencing something that was meaningful to a loved one when they were still here is thought to be an opening through which to reach out to them. For instance, if they loved butterflies and we see a beautiful image of a butterfly, that would be an opening to share and connect with them.

Today I looked across the back yard to the wooden play structure we had built for our kids when they were little. The two swings have been replaced with a porch swing while the rest of the structure is covered with vines but it still holds strong. And I silently asked our little boy, Corty, who passed at age seven, to look at the swing set now, it is still here. Where he once climbed up the ladder to get to the platform to pretend to be He-Man, wisteria and grapevines climb now. But it is still here -- look, Honey!

My personal October ritual is to find openings for loved ones in the Great Beyond...I believe we all can. xx