Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Continuing with the close-ups, the one above is the Lupine;January 2001 center section of 'Nancy's Garden.
Close-up of Iris; April 2001, part of 'Nancy's Garden'.
Close-up of Tiger Lily; March 2001, part of 'Nancy's Garden.'

The past few days have been busy ones, filled with the stuff of life. This Saturday I am taking my youngest child off to his first semester in college. He will only be 1 hour away at the University of Rhode Island, however, it has hit me a bit hard this summer that all of my kids are now grown and Tony and I will be empty-nesters. Andrea, 21, has helped by moving back home for a while to save some money so as to finish off her studies. But she is fiercely independent and we never see her even though she sleeps at home. My husband,Tony, owns his business and is working 15 to 18 hour days, so I have a lot of time on my hands. My day job is part time for the present, as RI has a 12% unemployment rate, and I lost my full time job at a local fabric store when they closed shop.

For the first time in many years, I actually have the time for my artwork. Our new house in Smithfield has provided me with the most wonderful of studio spaces; light, airy and spacious. From my years at the fabric store I have amassed quite a full collection of fabrics, just waiting to be used in quilt projects. For the most part I am ecstatic and full of creative energy that I am able to tap into daily. But there is this little annoying, pesky voice deep inside that is very resistant to change. That is the voice of the Mother, who feels a bit unneeded. It is a very strange time of life and most days I wonder how I got here so fast.

I also have an alternate voice who is looking ahead, whispering, "How much longer are you going to be able to see well enough to do your artwork?" or "What if your fingers succumb to nerve damage?" Will I ever get all the drawings worked into fabric? I really am not sure how many more years I will be doing this work. I am hoping that it is a long time, but one never really knows.

My Mother came to live with me in her late 70's because she could no longer see, due to macular degeneration. She was a watercolorist. I still remember her sitting at my kitchen table that first week, weeping for her lost lifestyle. She could no longer paint. She stayed with me for four years until her death at the age of 82. I think it was the hardest four years of her long life and she had lived through the Great Depression and my father dying at the age of 59.

Those of us who are solidly in middle age, have no real choice but to think about what may be coming our way. Such a strange time of life, a time to ponder with some wisdom, what has been and what may be.
There is an urgency to my stitching that was never there before; an urgency fueled by intense desire.

Got to go sew...........

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