Turning Points


It is so much easier to look back. I’m sure I’m coming across some turning points at this very moment. They are too close to glean any insight. Except for spring flowers. They are immediate. They let you know the season is about to change. the lightness of spring is imminent. The brilliance of summer is not far off. My formulas for shibori dyeing fabric begin to change.

Looking back for turning points, I ask, how far back can I go? To my junior year in high school when I changed my style wearing a borrowed, white, v neck dress with a circular, cinched-waist skirt to a civil air patrol dance on the Air Force Base where I lived. Guys out numbered girls ten to one. I danced and danced.

The time when I was 20 and I went shopping in at expensive boutique. I tried on linen pants, fuchsia and orange. They were bold and bright. I hated them. Wanting a change, I bought them. My dad said I was stunning.

I was working in an office. I sewed a deep sea bluegreen maternity skirt and floral print top. Wore it to work, brazen and pregnant. So many compliments.

My first divorce. It was not a bad marriage. Ms Magazine arrived. It was intellectual conversation I was seeking.

Letting my kids go live with their dad. It was the right thing to do. I wanted the divorce. It was my idea. I knew I could handle being a better mother away than he could be a father so far away.

There was a recklessness in the decisions to divorce and custody. A recklessness that gave me a freedom to seize my vision.

There was chaos and disorder in the second marriage. I divorced again. With a clear vision that I deserve to be with those who appreciates who I am and what I can do.


Today I am following my curiosity. That will lead me to my passion, Elizabeth Gilbert says. I believe her. I am most curious about how to deepen my relationships. To know more. To understand more.

Michelle Obama says, “It is hard to hate up close.”

Maybe that’s true. That’s what I want. But most times my arrogance gets in the way. Like when someone takes a different stance and I stand back, with hands on my hips, and say to myself, how could you?

I had a fantasy the other day when we were at my daughter’s house. They had created a new “pub room.” They had arranged it with a little bar, a few tables scattered around. There were several different conversations going on at each table. Every one was smiling, nodding, laughing, listening. Most likely all in agreement since we are all like minded.

I had a thought. What if that wasn’t true? What if the conversations at each table we’re radically different? Opposing views were being expressed. And everyone was still listening, nodding? What if it was like the game of musical chairs and when the band of brothers and cousins stopped playing one person would shift to the next table and enter the conversation? One they might totally disagree with? Could it be done? Could the knot in their stomach be pushed down when they heard things they disagreed with? Could they be silent for two beats and let the conversation flow without the need to be the lone dissent? Could they let listening be the path to deepening?

My husband said, “No, there’s too much at risk.”

“Isn’t being silent and listening equally powerful? “I asked. “Doesn’t living by example mean anything?”

Curiosity has lead me to explore the distinction between empty silence and the the silence of listening.


You Will Love This

It may sound trite when I say I make my art for you. I don't know you personally. I do know about you. I know about your desire for passion and wisdom. To express your long earned authority. And for intimacy, those close connections you find in family and friends where you can just be you and express yourself freely with no concern for being judged or criticized or need to defend your beliefs 

In these ways we are the same. We have lived long. We have courted danger. We have loved life.

What makes us unique is our failures have not brought us down. We stand tall and walk forward knowing we have something to pass on. We have a legacy

So it is not trite when I guide my vibrant shibori silk under the needle, watch it ripple and gather graciously, marvel at its beauty, ponder how ravishing it is and know that you are going to love wearing the art I create. 

I am not praising me. I am praising the inner workings of my soul that has brought all the pieces of creating together to make this masterpiece. Yes, in that moment, when exquisite colors have found their way into my silk. I am thrilled and can't wait to share it with you.

A form of my inner life is embodied in the fabrics I take into my hands and shapes each piece. and I say, “you will love this.”

It is not trite 

You will love this!

You will love this!