Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Full Circle

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
~T.S. Eliot,  From Four Quartets:  Little Gidding

It seems different this time.

Sitting down at my Japanese embroidery frame this morning, I felt less pressured.  Less anxious about completing my work.  More settled and at home than I have in years past.

When I first began Japanese embroidery, it was over 20 years ago.  I was fairly young in my surface embroidery lifecycle.

I was living in Japan and completed three phases and nearly finished a fourth over the course of my three-year stay there.

When I came home, I was busy working in a new job, finding a home, getting married and having Jack.

Japanese embroidery slipped into the background, though I did have success in locating an excellent Japanese embroidery teacher only a half-hour from my home.

Over the years, I have reunited with JE and then let it lie fallow at least three or four times.  No matter what life threw at me, I always seemed to keep a finger in the door of Japanese embroidery.  And though I have been fickle in my commitment, I have never quite divorced her.

I feel constrained by it, yes.

But there's something about it that tugs at my soul.

I'm back at it and I'm dedicating a few mornings a week to completing some old pieces.

This one is called Eternal Grace.  If you've been around here long enough, you've seen her before.

She's eternal all right.  I'm hoping to re-name her to Terminable Grace.

But already, I see her with an older, wiser pair of eyes.  And it doesn't seem like that big of a deal to be back here again.  I have arrived where I started.

And I know this place.

[Aside:  We have a German exchange student who arrives tonight.  His name is Dominick and he'll be staying with us for ten days.  He might just show up here on the blog since we have lots of trips planned.  I'll stop in as I can.  Be well Beautiful Blogging Friends.]


Createology said...

Grace has lots of patience and will be happy to wait for you dear. Enjoy Domick and all the fun you will be having. Joyful Hearts...

cucki said...

Enjoy your happy time with domick..
Love and blessings x

Gerry Krueger said...

There is a fine line between constrictive and defining...defining is using the constrictive to forge a new direction.... This piece is gorgeous...and you must love it to keep at it... go girl!!!

Gerry Krueger

Moonsilk Stitches said...

Your comments on Japanese embroidery really struck a chord with me. I began first on my own, reading books from a local Japanese store (and gorgeous magazines of kimono designs). I finally made a trip to the Japanese embroidery center in Atlanta to begin phase 1. It was both a wonderful and a difficult experience. Beginner's mind is sometimes hard to find. My piece languished for a few years until I found a great teacher and support group. I find the discipline has greatly helped all of my other stitching (and finally, I think, as I become more competent, my other embroidery is helping with JE), but something about JE still feels constrictive. I really love Gerry's comment and will keep it in mind as I work.

Rachel said...

I'd never thought of Eliot's words in connection with art or craft before, but you've cast a new light on both.

And Eternal Grace is looking really lovely!

Cath said...

What a treat to see Grace reappear. The stitching you have done is beautiful. I'm sure you will continue to enjoy the time you spend with Grace and I'm looking forward to seeing your progress.

Margaret said...

I'm new to your blog so this is new to me. I looked into JE courses a couple of years ago but at the time could not afford it. I have so much Western embroidery to do that I may never explore JE...but your work is truly beautiful, and I look forward to seeing more of it.

On Ash Wednesday, it is good to remember that Grace is eternal... :-)

MaggieLove said...

Eternal Grace is your work. TFS

gracie said...

Another beautiful project....

Shirlee Fassell said...

Eternal Grace fits her beauity your stichig is amazing!!

Anonymous said...

I adore Eliot's Four Quartets and it's lovely to see you finding such an apt quotation for us all to consider. Thank you!

coral-seas said...

Back in September 2006, I still felt very new to Japanese embroidery (I still do sometimes) and Blogs were new to me (I had not started my own blog then). I was searching the web for anything related to Japanese embroidery and one of the few things I found was 'Meet Gracie ...' post. I shall always love her for bringing me to you.

It makes me very happy to see her again ;-)

Sandy said...


Lorraine said...

Love the new header Susan. I recently spent a couple of days at a workshop (goldwork) where many of the participants do JE. I find I am quite inspired now. Am so pleased to see you are back at it again.

Catherine said...

Simply beautiful!

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