gift of time

during this gift of time that i gave myself
avoiding traveling and instead doing some necessary things
i've cleaned. 
cleaned out the intensely untidy
and overstuffed closet in my studio.
which has lead to other things
as many cleaning projects do,
the bookshelves that hold equipment,
the unders- and overs- that also stashed "supplies"
mostly fiber in the form of
raw or prepared fiber
i found this little bag of madder root
that i bought from Trudy Van Stralen
the author of Indigo, Madder and Marigold
owner of Hilltop Wools
back in the 80's when I worked (briefly) for her. 
Trudy died in 2015, 
her business lives on run by her son, i believe.

i soaked them overnight or so 
and then cut them up a bit and then soaked more
 and cut them up again
nothing was longer than 1/2 inch by the time i was done, 
 i could have chopped them in the blender but i was tired of this work
and besides, i wanted to dye.
i'm not sure but i don't think i've ever done my very own madder dyepot.
i was once told by a *famous* (unnamed) dyer that madder goes bad after a while.
so i sent my newer bag off to a friend with good wishes for her to use it.
so in the ethers both tim mclaughlin and sarah swett recently became enamoured with madder.
i indulged myself after finding this old bag of 250 grams of madder.
i cooked on low heat, well under boiling, 
but i don't have a thermometer 
(well, i do, but can i find it?)
but it was a lovely color blood orange sanpellegrino 
stained the paint strainer bag
one little swath of kozo i just dipped in for a bit
part of my quest was to find fiber to dye so i can use my new tapestry pipe loom
with wool 
before i try the other stuff 
(do it proper first, gurl)
it was really almost red, 
but has oranged out some now.
meanwhile this was happening in the dining room 
while i unburdened all the containers, 
closet from hell, 
under the tables and etc.
there is an abundance that i wish i could be 
somewhat unburdened of.
this closet under the stairs is actually organized now.
this is the next big step after the fiber--
much fiber went to places--
the paper mills at home and at school,
some to recycle,
some to compost.
that box of bottles under my studio table is 40 years old
each bottle a lichen vat dye.
gifted to me by jean reynolds from cranberry lake.
in about 1980.
and my lovely partner has made a wagon from our trees he
marked for harvest
cut and hauled last winter. 
the sawyer came and made the boards
and it's now been screwed into a usable and "free" wagon.
a huge accomplishment.
home work
the best work.

quiet? thinking

pop pop thud.
a woman said to me: happy fourth of july.
i said, i've never heard that before!
it's my quiet day.
what irony, 
yet this is how it is today.
i have time to ponder.
i taught in beautiful victoria, bc,
meanwhile meeting* both jean and bryan
north country shifu for three days
a quick paper manipulation half day
and a one day textile/paper/book class
and boarded a ferry
sailed down the ocean trail to seattle
one woman (forgive me for forgetting names)
made this beauty.
 another (famous) woman stretched her skills
 and this class wanted more and more, 
so i took apart my journal
and traced the cover 
and they all learned to tread from textileness to bookishness
there was a vender market
maiwa stopped me, 
in my tracks.
that night i read A Quiet Manifesto
and was deeply moved 
thinking how i needed this 40 years ago
but i have it now.
as i work, teach, make more and more books
and paper,
and textiles,
i am finally thinking about what i'm doing.
so there's this: we have paths to walk
mine is what i want to do
what i am skilled at
but more, i want to touch, to enrich (maybe push a little bit) the life and work of others.
in a sense being fully present in my part of the cycle.
being a quiet sort
i teach.
i make books.
and i try to build a life that is whole.
i have several roles, don't we all?
but this 
t h i n g about f i b e r...
the thread that runs through it.
i have more to ponder
this quiet day
in a hotel
in seattle. 

*if you know bryan or jean you know they are powerhouses, and meeting is hardly the word. maybe experienced is more accurate.