the velma book/the wendy book

wendy golden-levitt, a toronto based jungian therapist, has given me permission to write about her work with children and an elder using my book. she also uses textiles made by several other artists. if you have been reading this blog you know about this book, the cover is shifu over flax, the pages are all different botanical and rag papers that i made here at my paper mill (wake robin). the binding style is functional and medieval in origin. the first child to work with this book, p., has suffered huge loss, the deaths of his parents, and is trying to come to a place of understanding and surviving this. these are wendy's words and photos, and a few comments from me.
first p. wrapped the book with some cloth from india flint. he said it held things impossible to say. he felt india's (india flint) cloth was just the right amount of seeing and not seeing. p. felt that your book allowed him to look and not look... he thanks you for that.
this next picture was p.'s attempt to look into a bad dream he had. he felt this cloth from india f. would help if he saw his dream through that and therefore it could land differently onto the velmabook.
this photograph was when p. had visited quite a number of times and discovered that jude hill's little "what if" cushion could hold his place while he went into the sandtray or sat with me for a while. he said that the velmabook did very well holding what he needed to stay with in his work with me....and that the judelady had invented a good thing. p. said they both smell good.

it seems that the wendy/velma book can hold dreams, nightmares, pain, imaginings, letters, and even be held. an elder who works with wendy wrote me a letter and placed it in the book to "bake" for a week before wendy was to send it to me. this letter told how she was an interred child in europe, and the only thing of hope and beauty for her was a patch of grasses, the book spoke to her of that. the letter was then to be planted in the garden she and wendy plan to dig. another child puts it under her shirt, next to her heart.

i always knew that making art transforms, and that art evokes strong emotions. i never thought my art, an artists' book, would be the conduit for people to process their pain and heal. one very good answer to "why make art?".

big thunderstorm coming, a good thing, because i seem to be verbose today!