Thursday, February 11, 2010
Oh, how many times have I answered this statement. And similarly, this question:
"What would you choose to do in your next life...?"
How many times have I asked this question of Jim or Jack or my friends??
Answering the question is a way of identifying hidden dreams, of uncovering latent desires, of creating a fantasy story for ourselves or for those we care about. I'd be shocked if you've never thought about it yourself.
Granted, I am pretty happy with the talents and skills God gave me. But, boy oh boy, in my next life I would LOVE to come back as Patti LaBelle or Aretha Franklin -- stand up on stage in front of thousands of singing fans, and belt out a R-E-S-P-E-C-T like there's no tomorrow!
Using all ranges of my unbelievable voice, up and down the scale, no holding back...letting my voice belt out all that is beautiful and good. Maybe this is why gospel music and spirituals have always appealed to me. That deep, soulful singing that comes from the very core of your being...*gulp
OK. Back to reality. I can sing OK...not great.
I mean, I'm probably good enough to be in the back row of our local church choir. And maybe, one day I might join that group when I have more time to commit to it. For now, I have to settle for sitting in the front left side of the church where the choir sits and the music is loud and they drown out my singing when I belt it out! Once, I sat in the back of church because we were late...I was so out of place. There are very few singers in the back of church and the ones who are singing...are definitely not belting it out. More like mumbling and humming. This bird was very out of place back there so I haven't been late to church since...that'll teach me...
And it's not like I just want one thing in my next life. Greedy girl, I know.
I would also really love to be able to paint. I mean, really paint...Like Michelangelo or Raphael or Judith Leyster. I love the idea of setting my easel in the midst of a garden, surrounded by my paints and by nature, with Monet's waterlilies appearing magically from my brush...and, when I was done, they would actually look like waterlilies...*sigh
OK. Back to this life. In this life, I can't draw very well but, just like singing, I do it anyway. Maybe I don't need to be the world's best painter, maybe I would just like to draw better.
So, inspired by my work on this piece, and by Betty Edwards' Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (she swears anybody can draw), I'm going to take a drawing class at my local art center and see what happens.
But all of this is background soundtrack for My Symphony.
When I began this piece, I was thinking of what I am not. And, over time and many stitches, I have come to embrace what I am.
Simply put, I am a painter with threads and I sing through my needlework.
My medium is cotton and silk and fabric and beads and any other bauble that strikes my fancy. I am indeed standing in the middle of the field, inspired by nature, and stitching my masterpiece of a life.
The music in the background of this piece is Beethoven's Ode to Joy printed on fabric and it underscores my life's symphony. It's joy, it's gratitude and it's the only song I ever learned to play on the piano. And, it's this life -- not the next one.
So, I don't know if I'll ever get a next life or not, but I'm not sure I would want to give up my needle and thread in order to be able to sing and paint.
Thank God I don't have the choice. I am almost certain I would mess it all up if I did.
Thank you for taking this journey with me. It seems like it's taken me forever to finish this piece from when I first started last October. But I liked that I tried a lot of new things while making this piece.
Here are a few back links to the various phases of this piece if you're interested.
Free-motion embroidering the grass
Making the Butterflies
Making the Canvas, Palette and Brush
Dressing the Doll
Glittering the Background Fabric
Painting and Printing the Background Fabric
Now, I'm off to make a snowman...Maybe in my next life, there won't be snow!