Things I Lost in the Fire

One of Andy’s favorite music groups when he was a teen was Rush.  I enjoyed listening to the music when I was race walking.  Most of it has a fairly fast beat and I attribute it to my good times when I competed.  The lyrics to Time Stand Still are so beautiful and sad at the same time.  Time stand still, I’m not looking back but I want to look around me now, see more of the people and places that surround me now, freeze this moment a little bit longer now, make each sensation just a little bit stronger.

Tonight, a couple of us are getting together to take a friend to dinner whose divorce is finally over.  It is less a celebration that just acknowledging that that phase is over.  Someone at tapestry today said she will someday thank her ex for her freedom, but I doubt it right now.  Someone very close to me divorced after a long marriage and ten years later, I asked her how long it took her to get over it and she replied, ‘last week’.  I’m sure it did.

I am in limbo at the present time.  Most of my yarn and wool, looms and wheels are in storage.  Our Realtor has suggested I pack up my dyes and dye kitchen.  Once that is gone, there will really be nothing for me to do but buy more yarn to knit.  Another friend is also in the house selling mode and said that you get used to the disruption in life after a few months.  I noticed that one of the ways she is coping with it is by planning all kinds of ridiculously exciting things for her for future.  Some of them involve way too much responsibility.  I hope she sells her house quickly!!!

So I am going to try to do what the song says, ‘don’t look back’.  Look around me.  Concentrate on my friends and present surroundings.  In the Bible, it says to ‘occupy the land.’  While I am here, I have to live in the moment.  This is going to be a growth time for me.  I am almost sixty years old.  This is my chance to change all of the things I don’t like about the way I have lived my life, but to revel in the wonderful things I have done.

One thing I am very regretful about is that I don’t have one, single solitary thing that I ever wove.  My husband found my slides from 1981.  There are a dozen of them, all of pieces I submitted to the Philadelphia Craft Show, and didn’t get accepted.  However, the following year I did get invited to show and sell at the Baltimore Winter Market, which at that time was the biggest wholesale craft show on the east coast, and a prestigious one, as well, put on by the American Craft Council.  I’m not sure they are even still in existence, but will find out.  I didn’t do well at the show, and found out later on that for the level of weaving I was capable of, my selection was too broad.  I did an entire line of clothing in cotton and linen, and then a complementary one in wool and silk.  All of the yarn was hand dyed.  There were two styles of coats, two sweaters, two dresses, several tops, some with matching shawls, and a line of household fabrics that included rugs, pillows, hangings and yardage.  They hysterical part of this ambitious collection is that I did all of the weaving myself.  In retrospect, thank God I didn’t do well because I would have never been able to deliver.

The following year, I decided to get rid of the samples.  We did a few craft shows and I sold several pieces, but the rest I gave to a friend in Michigan who then gave them away to a stranger.  In hindsight, I should have stipulated that when she was through with them, send them back.

Having discovered that a production weaver I was not, I decided to spend the next year weaving something special out of hand dyed yarn.  After months of research, I settled on handwoven fabric for kimonos.  I wove yard after yard of 14″ fabric, and then yard after yard of lining fabric that I subsequently dyed to match.  Each one was a work of art.  The neighbors next door to my studio in Philadelphia were both artists.  The man did a series of wood prints that I took inspiration from.  We had a joint show of the work in Germantown at The Craft Store, a now defunct little gem that was quite the thing in those days.

The kimonos were really beautiful.  One of these days I will take my slides and have them put onto disc so I can share them here.  So what happened to them?  I gave them away in moment of insanity, to a woman who probably burned them.  I often wonder if I will ever come across any of my handwoven garments at a thrift shop.  They all have my label;

Hand Dyed

Handwoven

Suzanne Jenkins

All of my knitting is out of my reach as well.  Slowly, I am replacing some of the things I really loved; the Stonington Shawl, the Best Friend Jacket.  Someday I will have some knitting to show for my time.

Looking around in the now forces you to let go of such tangible stuff.  None of it has eternal value.  My creativity cannot be measured in the material, although I try it to be.  It has to be valued by what I share with the people who love me.  In tapestry today, my wonderful teacher Rita, explains patiently the same techniques over and over and over again.  I am going there to be with the other women.  I don’t see myself ever doing tapestry without their support.  I want them in my life, in spite of the fact that three of them go to Florida for the winter, and the others are as busy as I am. Add that to my move to where ever.  Just knowing they are alive in the world is enough.

This week, I am having a meal every day with people who I love and who I believe love me in return.  I hope to focus on what is happening in their lives and shed my own grumblings.  The things I complain of are so trival and I know it.  I try to justify my complaints by seeking validation from my friends, who freely give it, humoring me, I think.  Or do they just love me??

One things for sure, I will never, ever, do another piece of weaving or knitting that won’t stay in my field of protection.

Time Stand Still

I turn my back to the wind
To catch my breath
Before I start off again.
Driven on without a moment to spend
To pass an evening with a drink and a friend

I let my skin get too thin
I’d like to pause
No matter what I pretend
Like some pilgrim
Who learns to transcend
Learns to live as if each step was the end

(Time stand still)
I’m not looking back
But I want to look around me now
(Time stand still)
See more of the people and the places that surround me now
Freeze this moment a little bit longer
Make each sensation a little bit stronger
Experience slips away
Experience slips away

I turn my face to the sun
Close my eyes
Let my defenses down
All those wounds that I can’t get unwound

I let my past go too fast
No time to pause
If I could slow it all down
Like some captain, whose ship runs aground
I can wait until the tide comes around

(Time stand still)
I’m not looking back
But I want to look around me now
(Time stand still)
See more of the people and the places that surround me now
Freeze this moment a little bit longer
Make each impression a little bit stronger
Freeze this motion a little bit longer
The innocence slips away
The innocence slips away…

Summer’s going fast, nights growing colder
Children growing up, old friends growing older
Freeze this moment a little bit longer
Make each impression a little bit stronger
Experience slips away
Experience slips away…
The innocence slips away

by Neal Peart

4 thoughts on “Things I Lost in the Fire

  1. So very true…………… I tell myself these words almost every day! Make each day count. In fact, each minute! Love life Suzie.

    I’m not looking back
    But I want to look around me now
    (Time stand still)
    See more of the people and the places that surround me now
    Freeze this moment a little bit longer
    Make each sensation a little bit stronger

  2. Here here! Can’t believe the lack of sensitivity of some people. I have heard this sad tale before. You put so much of yourself into something and give a loving gift only to have it carelessly disposed of.
    I vote we keep some part of our art for ourselves.
    Hugs.

  3. Holy crow, that is a lot of food for thought. But I needed this message today. I just finished my first lace knit (a little scarf, from my handspun) and I thought about who I should give it to — default for me, I rarely keep anything I craft for myself. But after reading this, I have decided to keep it.

Please comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s