Friday, December 31, 2010

Cheers to Slipping Glimpsers Everywhere

Over five years ago, I started my first art quilt using jeans, overalls, pants, and other fabric scraps. I decided to embroider a long quote on top of the denim. It proved to be a grueling task. Multiple layers of denim are difficult to maneuver with needle and embroidery floss. I am quite sure this project will haunt my hands in the years ahead. I never finished the quilt, but packed it into a plastic bin for the day the gumption hit.
When I woke this morning, I was trying to think of some words of inspiration to cheer us into 2011. I immediately thought of something the abstract expressionist painter, Willem de Kooning, said.

Y'Know the real world, this so-called real world,
It's just something you put up with, like everybody else.
I'm in my element when I am a little bit out of this world.
Then I'm in the real world - I'm on the beam.
Because when I'm falling, I'm doing alright;
When I'm slipping, I say, hey, this is interesting!
It's when I'm standing upright that bothers me:
I'm not doing so good, I'm stiff.
As a matter of fact, I'm really slipping most of the time, into that glimpse.
I'm like a slipping glimpser.

This is the quote I started to embroider on my denim art quilt. This morning, I opened that plastic bin and discovered that the quilt was incredibly close to completion. The only word left to embroider is "glimpser." I do not know why I did not complete the quilt back when I was so close to being done. I was probably distracted by the "so-called real world."

The needle is still in the fabric. It has been waiting for me all these years.

Today I am inspired to take up this quilt again and to use de Kooning's words to inspire me to be fearless, to remember that the nitty gritty of daily life is just "something you put up with, like everybody else." The real magic happens when you let yourself be authentically imperfect.
Slipping Glimpsers, raise your glasses. Cheers to falling!

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