Panning for Gold: Part II


I may have lied a couple of posts ago or at least need to explain.  When I said           “I have no words,”  I didn’t then, and for a good month beyond.  But I wasn’t referring to single, free-standing nouns…words that creep into my mind as I sit and stitch on projects and then capture on paper…single words that nip at a sense or the emotion of a moment, another word, word-waiting…


The words I’m referring to “not having”  are the cohesive strings that coast on the promise of knowing, that fill me with purpose and reinforce my belief system.

2015-08-07 bird nest close copy

This dichotomy of language happened, as expected, when I returned from a workshop this summer, where permission was given to wander capriciously behind imagination without having to explain or name…just do, freely.

Clouds from Plane

Not that I returned to my studio idea-less. I felt quiet and calm but thoughts were messy, like junk in a pile and a month passed before I could arrange them into collections.  Emotion and heart had disconnected from logic and concept, and strings of words that make good “blog” were absent.

Enter gold.  Third Thursday.  Roy-G-Biv.  And one single, shiny appelation began the untangling.  I presented my only gold photo,  the image of a shard of broken beach glass and a thought…
Gold is not the treasure I hunt.

shell and threads1

I consider myself an explorer of the ordinary. I covet shells etched by sand and time, a rare round stone, but mostly the imperfect ones.  A feather no longer necessary to one bird’s flight or a rusty nail, its neck at breaking point from holding its head against old wood and weather for a hundred years.  These objects lavish my imagination with honest tales that stir my memories on a journey of stitches.

feathers and shells

Stories rich with energy, memory, triumph and trauma.

Savannah Texture2014-09-25 15.29.02

I’m a survivor, like the old nail.  And generally positive, so I have been stitching until now on the high end of my stories, the outcomes, the triumphs, the half-full lessons.  But without planning too much, I left my “homeland,” dug a garden, set to grow something worthwhile.  I slowed a bit, embraced solitude and because I can,  I’m following the root way down.   


Then, I cut deeply into the center of my onion skin-bundled cotton like I was tending a wound.


No Words

Naming has always helped me make sense of my world and yet I am currently unable to detangle thoughts into tidy lines of letters. One of my alternatives to having words come from within, is to source them from without.  Like gathering windfall.





David Whyte
David Whyte


With three days off and counting, I am taking a sigh and a moment to write about the past week or so.  We had our wonderful (younger) daughter and the traditional “family” Christmas day, special food, mostly practical gifts and a package of talismans from (older daughter) Israel and pictures of her camping trip.  I am enjoying the time, but my hands remain busy in many ways.
Everyone Not in the Picture
VERY North of Gaza


I wasn’t planning to add anything today, but was inevitably inspired by my blog searching. Everywhere I look are beautiful images of ordinary things made important by a closer view. Here is my contribution.  When people view my word houses they generally glance, but better to peek inside.  This is good advice for everything. The image is a close-up  of the one I made for my friend Pam. growcrop1.jpg