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Ellen Anne Eddy
Author of Thread Magic: The Enchanted World of Ellen Anne Eddy Fiber artist, author and teacher
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Friday, September 3, 2010

Musings:Art Outside the Box:Embroidery, Art and Truth




I love this 5 minutes of truth and what is true. Truth and what is true are not the same things. They are often foreigners to each other. We are too used the the courtroom in Law and Order, Perry Mason, and the who, what, why approach to the news. We are obsessed by the actual numbers, the correct dates and the whole truth and nothing but the truth.What is true, is that they perpetrated a fraud. But the truth is that they created a view of the world as we would like it to be.


 There is a  wonderful  truth to be hoped for here, in a world of people dancing together. Real or not, it's something that may not be true, but it offers that which should be. Somewhere there could be a world of people dancing badly together, in harmony and joy. And why not? Truth is so much more strong than what is strictly true.


I was raised with an Irish American view of all of this.My mother's maiden name was Mulligan. She was a brilliant story teller. She never sewed if she could help it but she could embroider a story to perfection. The facts were often suspect. She told a story about herself as Margaret the African Violet Killer ( seven in one blow) that I really doubt actually involved her punch line about giants. What she did was take the truth, spin it slightly and show it to you through her eyes. And gild the edges, just a bit.


Was it true? It was way too silly a story to be true. But she was truly awkward and bad with plants. Her not so true story had a  heart based in truth.


Perhaps all affirmations are a bit like that. I've sat with bad children and told them that they were good. They weren't getting any better believing they were bad. If I told them I saw them as good, then there was at least a reason to try.


Most recently, I find myself in a room with women trying to do free motion for the first time. I always tell them that they're brave. Are they? Well, bravery is not how we feel. It's how we act. If she's scared and she's not under the table, she's as brave as a tiger. And it helps to tell her so.


Years ago I was visiting Glacier National Park and someone took me up a ski lift.  It was summer. As long as I could see the ground I was grounded. But when we were hanging just in the air I noticed I had a touch of agoraphobia. I was terrified. I had my hands over my eyes. My friend leaned over and said" So brave!" This was something I'd said to students the whole week I'd been there. It's amazing no one had hit me.


But it made me feel braver.I managed to look through my fingers to see the mountain below me and an eagle circling above. Was it looking for lunch? We'll never know.Was I truly brave? I didn't fall off the lift.


I quilted this quilt of the mountain below me and the shadow of the eagle above.
While we report what is true, I think we create our truths. We declare them, prop them in place, and help them happen, declare them  as we put them in process. That in itself is an act of creation. It's an artistic process as fine as a painting or an tapestry. It's an affirmation. It's a story told well. And it's the recreation of the world as it should be, shown through our own eyes.

1 comments:

Sharyn said...

I'm so sorry to hear your neighbors are up in arms. I is difficult to march to a different drummer in a world of Muzak and Midi tunes.

Be brave; I'll put you in my circle jar~
Sharyn

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