This is the Snow Moon, though it's late in the winter and almost spring. On the edge of the eastern slope of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, we have the most snow in March and April -- though this year we've been besieged since my birthday in October -- but at least the days are getting longer and the light is stronger.Gatten holding the moon disc
Japan, 16th c.
Embroidered damask, silk, gold and silver filé
I couldn't summon even a whimper for this blog all month. I keep asking myself - is it done? But I think it's just in transition. Last year at one point I plotted out a new blog called Art Craft Culture, and maybe it's time to birth it soon, and start blogging again with a fresh start (The Red Thread idea has been appropriated by so many people in so many ways, and that's all to the good, but for me it no longer feels as original as it once did.) But many of you are connecting with me on the Slow Cloth group, and that's been a surprise and a delight. We imagined we'd have maybe 50 people interested, and we have almost 1,000.
My wonderful and perceptive boss referred to me as an iconoclast last week. This is a positive variation on what some other people have called me -- troublemaker, for example. The iconoclastic shoe fits, so I wear it with varying degrees of comfort. It means to be outside the mainstream, questioning the status quo, subverting the dominant paradigm. The formal definition is to overthrow or destroy religious symbols, but I don't really relate to that level of aggression; I prefer to think of it as being ahead of the curve - a little bit visionary, even - and I'm nothing if not a dreamer.
The only problem is that iconoclasts, especially female iconoclasts, often have a hard time making a living; we're square pegs, and the powers that be often don't know quite what to do with us. At some point you have to give up the struggle to fit in, because the only way to do that is to limit yourself. And you have to give up the idea of being anyone other than who you are. Then you can get to work on being the best version of who you are.
So I dedicate this new moon to being a peaceful iconoclast and owning it with pride. I am working on a stitching project that's been a little stagnant, but with the longer days it's seeing signs of life. Here's the current state of the peace mandala:
Oh, and the beautiful 16th-century Japanese silk above is just one item from a beautiful collection at the Musee des Tissues et des Arts decoratifs de Lyon; they have many more of their exquisite pieces online. Here's a 4th-century Egyptian textile that looks very contemporary; inspiration is where you find it, even in the distant past.