margaret and milkweed

milkweed is blossoming in some places here at home,
this one hasn't quite, yet.
in the pacific northwest
i travelled from Victoria BC to Seattle and then Tacoma.
part of that trip was by a big ferry.
 and once in seattle I had a wee time out, 
in a lovely hotel that took very good care of me for two nights.
i found this place, 
where I was served a chocolate by a well-dressed staffer,
on a tiny paper server thingie.
 then Kate took me home 
where i spent time sleeping in a lovely quiet house in a beautiful garden.
what could be better than 
hanging out with good people, a poet and a conservator, both printers,
in their beautiful home?
 one evening, between workshop days,
we had a little supper party
with Joan and Margaret visiting.
 joan is larger than life wonderful
and margaret, a name i'd heard for years...
 they were both my students,
but more,
margaret brought her shifu
 which she modeled
and then put this coat on me.
i wore indigo shifu.
it was warm and perfect
and this bundle of cloths
shifu all
i held in my arms and didn't want to return.
it was a precious gift
to hold Mrs Sakurai's work for a while.

Margaret's beautiful hands
and the bundle

 it was a blessing
and margaret herself...she's a horse girl!
i thought i'd gotten my horse late in life 
my 30's, but margaret, she was in her 70's!
and then the final day.
 happy kami-ito spinning
 student work
 Hazel and Gabby
both were once mere phantoms of the ethers,
now real and beautiful
and hugely imaginative and hard working.

 some brought nifty lights to help out
 patricia grass,
another famous name came with her shifu covered book of tea
 and Linda came with washi...
and then there was
 kami-ito knit
(this precious gift is now in my teaching collection)
 and knit recycled cashmere
 a little indigo ink stick work
 joan, the amazing
 indigo ink on mitsumata
shifu dancing
 a good how to present your work!

 and then i went to tacoma and stayed with Lucia
saw Catherine and ate her good soup, 
talked to the PSBA
and had several meals in the presence of this great one.
 there is good to look at art in the airports
where i spent a lot of time on wednesday
after lucia dropped me off.
i headed home finally at 11:30 on the red-eye
arrived in ottawa 7-ish.
drove home, and relaxed.
 i didn't take many pictures really,
none of the papermaking at Debbie's home 
with Lucia and two very friendly cute pups.
and to all of you, my old and new friends and my one-time students,
a HUGE thank you.
i felt so welcomed so treasured even.
i still feel surrounded by caring.
today, pre-op, thursday, ovarectomy.
recovery then, maybe, some papermaking!

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.