“You have to have vision,” I heard my mentor, Arturo Alonzo Sandoval, say from across the room. He wasn’t talking to me. He was talking to one of his students. I was fortunate to be working on the FeltLOOM in his classroom and could listen.
You have to have vision.
How true, I now realize. And vision is different than a plan. A plan comes second. A plan comes after the vision has been defined and chosen. We can have many visions and focus is where determination comes in.
What vision do I want to focus on?
In the past there was the vision for the move back to Kentucky. The transition was smooth and provided us with the amazing cabin we now live in. Today, there is the vision from my art, each piece of shibori dyed silk using carefully chosen colors creates many versions of wearable art.
Today, in order to keep from getting bored and to keep from repeating myself, I begin a new vision quest asking myself, “what do I want?” This becomes the quintessential question, the question most necessary to keep in the forefront of my mind everyday.
Today, I say to myself, I want each piece of art I make to become part of an intentional ensemble from the beginning of the vision.
Since I discovered the power of gathering around me only what I like, life is easier. While I realize it can become cluttered, I leave room for those moments when “opportunity knocks.” These are the moments when my questions are being answered, ever so subtly.
What do I want to explore?
Everything contains energy. My vision. My art. My cabin in the woods. It’s why I surround myself with art. Wearable art. Art on the wall. Art on the floor. Art in the garden. Art I serve my delicious food in. The art in my home, the handmade items I look at, use, wear, are closer to the maker, and the energy is more intense. It is stronger, hence more transferable to me.
You have to have vision.
Even my Garden Girls remind me of this fact when they talk about writing. In my creative writing I invented the Garden Girls to accompany me on my quest to take risks and live the layered life of an artist.
“How do you find the words?” Rose asked.
“Look at your hands,” Clove said.
“I think you mean that’s really all I have to do.” Rose said.
“Of course I mean it,” Clove said. “Look at your hands, Rose it’s all in your body, in the way you walk, the way you smile, the way you think. Look at your hands and take a deep breath and you’ll find the words.”
The thought was exciting, physically. Rose felt her body move. Mentally she felt her mind churn. “Let’s write together again,” she said, “the next time we can claim a moment to own.”
In writing, Rose was seeking passion, the passion that gets you excited and keeps you awake at night. Rose was always passionate; there was no getting around it. She wasn’t ever going to give it up. To be able to create passion, that’s what freedom is, that’s what life is; just keep on writing because what else is there? Sometimes preachy thoughts showed up, talking to Rose, but she listened only when she had to. Mostly there were other sounds to consider— the voices and the quiet. When the voice was soft and the message was sweet love was all around it. Mostly when Rose heard the voice it meant listen.
When ideas were overwhelming, she’d take long hot baths, one right after another. The writing challenged her not to divert her eyes, keeping them on her vision which is to keep on moving, not stopping, except to meditate, watch her breath, while looking at her hands to find the words waiting, and believing they will come, because they’re right there in the table, the light, and window.
First I’ll make a list, a quick one, Rose decided. “Do I write it all down? Do I make notes?” She asked Clove.
“You can,” Clove said, “or you can just look at your hands. It’s in your body, Rose it’s all in there.”
“Do you realize that you are saying there are no right answers. You are saying that whatever I say is okay, to just be me and say it. Take the risk.”
What does it take to become a Garden Girl? A desire made manifest, to discuss intimacy, passion, wisdom, and authority. And take risks.
Today, I take a deep breathe. What I want is in my body. I begin a new exploration of layering fabric, color and textures creating statement wearable art ensembles.