My piece for March was definitely influenced by an incredible fiber book made by Marty S (who is also a member of the BJP). Her arched pages (see here and here) sang a beautiful song to me... a little like a window, a little like a doorway, a little like a house, the stability and the reaching of the basic triangle shape... You get the idea.
I began by folding the top (dark green) batik fabric in half and cutting out the arch shape. Then I layered it over a lighter fabric and started fingering through my stash in search of whatever wanted to be in the window. Right away, an unglazed, ceramic face said, "Me, me!" There was no hesitation about the other things or the colors of beads. It all fell into place very quickly and effortlessly. Nice when that happens!
While stitching, I didn't really give a lot of thought to what it means, except when I was sewing the beaded bezel for the stone at the top of the face. This stone came from the headwaters of the Ganges River in India. My friend, Liz, did a treck there and brought it back for me. When I hold it in my hands, I have a sense of timelessness, the source of life and spiritual contentment... a warm pulse seems to eminate from it. Had to include it.
Working on this piece was one of the most peaceful and meditative experiences I've ever had stitching beads on fabric. After finishing it, I was trying to think what to name it and turned to some of my poetry books for inspiration. As soon as I read Zero Circle by Rumi (written in the 13th Century; translated by Coleman Barks), I knew the name of my piece is Zero Circle. Here's a few lines from the poem:
Zero Circle by Rumi
Be helpless, dumbfounded,
Unable to say yes or no.
Then a stretcher will come from grace
to gather us up.
So let us rather not be sure of anything,
Beside ourselves, and only that, so
Miraculous beings come running to help.
Crazed, lying in a zero circle, mute,
We shall be saying finally,
With tremendous eloquence, Lead us.
When we have totally surrendered to that beauty,
We shall be a mighty kindness.
I think this piece is about me reaching and seeking to surrender and become open to a saving grace. It frightens me a little to write this, to say it publically. Yet, on the other hand, it is my truth at this moment.
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4 April ~ Update
If you are interested in reading the whole of Rumi's poem, you will find it here. I have it in a wonderful book that was gifted to me several years ago: ten poems to change your life, by Roger Housden.
About the winged rabbit... It was a pin, a gift from a friend a long time ago. But I rarely wear pins and the wings caught on my purse strap so I didn't wear it. One day I put it in with my treasure stash and there it was when I needed it for this piece. It wouldn't have worked to pin it to my piece as it would flop forward and stick up too high. So I clipped the pin part off and sewed it to my piece. Originally it had a purple rhine stone glued to the bunny's belly. Didn't like the purple with my piece, so I easily removed that to expose the top of the rivet which held the whole thing together. Didn't like that either, so I drilled a hole through the rivet top and sewed a flat-bottomed, rose-colored crystal through the rivet.