Friday, September 30, 2011

Struggles and blue

I'm still completely biased towards the Korean fiber. Everything else has been destroying me. Yesterday was especially hard, partly b/c more people have gotten to town and were at the Morgan, so there was a large audience for my failures. But we went blue! It was SO unnerving to pull, but today it was better. You get used to it. Parting is not happening but I'm still learning a lot. SO much.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


In response to Velma's comment, that this is exactly the work I'm to be doing. Too busy to catch a breath but I love that the kozo garden is now resulting in "weeds" - they're growing past their bounds.

Today was a great success! The dak pulled beautifully and more importantly, PARTED perfectly. To the point that a volunteer, Scott, was able to part like a pro on his first try. I am sooo happy about this. After talking to Tom about tints, I'm now also tempted to turn the vat blue, ever so slightly, now that we're down to Thai kozo. Yesterday: Japanese, today: Korean, tomorrow and the rest: Thai. We have plenty, so why not play?

Monday, September 26, 2011


This is at Oberlin, shot by Clyde Owan '79, when I was out in town enjoying the beautiful Saturday weather. Now I'm at the Morgan, and have already gotten bitten by a mosquito (it found a little exposed flesh at my neck so now my scarf is on). I think I may have already thrown out my back but Tom has done an amazing job helping prep a whole bunch of fiber for me. If it wasn't for that, I'd have WAY more manual labor ahead of me. It was great to drive in during the day yesterday to meet my beloved hosts; their home feels like a second home to me. So already, the week is off to a good start. Let's see how many bites I get by the end.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Before the flight

Done Monday, finally.

Done Tuesday afternoon.

Done Tuesday night.

I can't tell what I love more: the weavings or the offcuts. I finally depleted my stash of dyed hanji cords. Dyed in Korea in 2009, corded in Belfast in 2010, woven in NY in 2011.

It took longer than I'd like, but I'm happy with the new family of things. Now it's time to pack and focus on the journey that begins tomorrow: Ohio!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Recovery in a new season

I fell ill Friday, unexpectedly, in an response to the strange events happening all around me. It has passed but I was amazed by it, and my relationship to illness--having an inkling about what was happening but being too superstitious to name it, for fear it would morph into something worse. So that day was a wash. Yesterday I tried balance: a workout, library, legal dramas on TV, but at the end of the day HAD to make something to feel okay to be watching pure entertainment. So, #4. More learning! I will continue as long as I keep learning, plus the calluses are forming again.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

9 to 5: not for me

Who was I kidding? Mostly, I was trying to ramp down on eye-intensive work late in the day. But the better idea is to go to an opthamologist. Since it's been so long that I can't remember the last time I've been. Two big shipments are off to Cleveland, and one more little thingy made. This time I learned a lot: when to reduce and why it affects trimming, why binding off always happens on the OUTSIDE of the piece, and, yes! it's possible to have the lid open the other direction.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Only to find I lost track again

I realized this evening that I spent a great deal of my day doing things for other people. And that I do that every day. So I spent the rest of the waning daylight hours and early evening doing something for myself. I finished the big heavy book I've been struggling to finish, and then walked to the book drop to return it, and THANK GOODNESS I did, because I got to see the harvest moon! I am still frustrated by how little work I did today that means anything to me but am hoping it's the usual housekeeping of a Monday. Not too long ago, I wrote "I feel a strong urge to protect my time and energy." India circled it and wrote, "This is important." Time to return to priority number one: self care.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sitting with anger

I did my meditation late today, since the morning was full of work. I wish I could take the weekend off, but not this one. I had a great meeting yesterday with a paper conservator who has done excellent research on hanji, so we geeked out for hours about that, all wrapped up with being Korean, being women, and so on. So much came out of that, ideas for the near and far future, but mostly I feel the work I have to do is that much more pressing.

But while sitting, I realized I was angry. All of the memorial stuff going on today and how much it has been ramped up in the days, weeks, months leading up to it. Of course it is important to memorialize and remember the innocent dead. But from that has been created a whole new species of the living dead. I am still ashamed of this country's response and am amazed to think that people would be okay with the post office being shut down but not a fraction of the defense budget. The post office!! It is NOT OKAY to even consider saying goodbye to it! Not to mention how many letters I sent to Afghanistan. It is NOT OKAY to keep sending people there the way we are, and have been.

I know how I "should" be feeling and how grateful I "should" be for many things, including my life. But how I really feel is angry. And that's fine, because it will pass.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Little by little

Practice doing a rectangular bottom, from last night. I got blisters immediately. But it feels almost like a castanet.

This morning's little book, made after the sun came out as a surprise. I thought it was just going to keep raining forever. Tonight I went to the Korea Society and then to Pace/MacGill, both for openings. Plus, I got to see Terttu again!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A stir in the rubble

Maybe the worst is over? I certainly hope so. This weekend, as much as I tried to NOT take it off, ended up being, indeed, something of a holiday weekend. I got to see Breda and her family and most importantly, meet her beautiful baby girl, almost a year old. I did that two days in a row. I got to see an old college friend yesterday, too, and then had dinner with my sister and bro-in-law and spent the night.

Somehow, despite the poor subway service, rain, and cold, I made it back home to do a full workout. I only got a tiny meditation after a shower and wasn't able to mail my latest book (pictured above) to Velma (since it's all about her wonderful border collie Wendy). But the real treat? A visit from Terttu! Lots of tea, lots of looking at books, lots of catching up on a rainy day. Now that I am full up on love, I can start to labor again.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Splayed open

I'm SO TIRED of this year. Too many trials, too much character building, too many opportunities to draw upon great reserves of strength. A medically-induced coma sounds like a good idea. With this fine attitude, I finally got around to website updates. More like slash and burn, but adequate for now. There are two new books in the knitted books section (like the book you see above, covered in Velma's sister's pants), and a bunch more in the artists' books section. Oh, and I highly, highly recommend Linda Sue Park's A Single Shard. I'm so very grateful for the work she puts into the world.