On 11/11/11, I was at a basket making workshop. We made a basket that had a two-twill base with eleven spokes on each side. There were eleven women in the room, including my wonderful teacher Polly Adams Sutton.
For many, it was a spiritual day, and I felt that I spent it in the perfect spiritual way for me, hanging out with lovely creative women, learning, weaving, talking, laughing, eating and sharing.
A small bubble, a small haven, but so important. Joined with so many other small and wonderful bubbles that I inhabit from time to time, they form my little world. And I am very grateful for them all. The eleven-eleven has come and gone. I am still here, attempting to choose a bright future for myself and for the planet.
It seemed like a good idea. I decided to do a mandala about Grace several months ago. I took a few notes and did a few doodles, and then put it aside. My thoughts about grace were all over the place, but that only made me realize how much I needed to work on it.
This quote from Anne Lamott kind of sums it up, “I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.”
It is such a tricky and elusive word. And working with it began to reflect my longing to pin things down, to understand the whys and hows and whats of my own life. I want physical grace as well as grace on a spiritual level. I want that ever popular state of grace. I want it to permeate my thoughts and actions on all levels. I want to live with grace and age with grace.
Yet my personal journey while working on it was not particularly easy, almost as if I were being shown how much work there is to do. I’m not exactly sure what I learned, but I know that it made me think and look and feel a lot.
I had to laugh when I read Anita‘s eloquent blog on Tuesday because for the past week I have been immersed in working on a Grace mandala. She captured the concept so well, while it has been quite the struggle for me to grapple with the word and all its meanings. Mine has been in the works for several months. I had made some sketches and had written down some of my feelings about Grace. But of course, once I started to draw it, everything changed.
So many opportunities have arisen in the last few days to challenge my ideas about it. I have to laugh about that as well. It seems to be the pattern. Once I make a decision to tackle a particular word, the lessons show up all over the place.
I will be finished with it soon, and will share it here along with more of the story about making it. I wanted to use just a small detail of it for now, but the lighting was bad, and it is late, and it all felt just a bit beyond my technical capabilities. So for now, these are the markers and the palette that I’m using.
I am now back home after a really nice three weeks in DWG, though I did manage to bring a cold back with me. So I’ve been resting and laying low. But yesterday I had some energy, so I began sketching out a possible design for a mandala commission that I’m just starting to work on.
Here’s the sketch I did. I know that it doesn’t look like much now, but just wait.
And because, yes…it’s that time of year again, I will spend at least part of the day today sitting on the couch with Dennis watching football, but not necessarily listening to it. He, reading news on the computer or playing music. Me, using the time to catch up on old issues of Bon Appetit, knit, play with baskets, or draw.
Today I will spend the time working on which colors to use for the new mandala.
Anita, Marci, Stan and I got together the other night to have one of our famous platter meals and to discuss Mandala Design Works stuff. To review our time at the jazz festival. To plan ahead for some shows in December, for instance the annual holiday show at Wellspring Holistic Center. And maybe most importantly to hear what Stan had to say about our website, our blog, and our presence on Facebook. I have just begun to embrace this blog thing, and now I learn that in order to be most effective, I really also need to insert links to our site and to other sites as I write my blog. So here I sit with Anita in Delaware Water Gap on Saturday night learning this new trick.