Hello to All and HAPPY SOLSTICE AND RETURN OF THE LIGHT!
Well, here we are at the beginning of the end of 2022, a sort of oddball even-numbered year…if I say so myself….
I am on day 358 of my 69th journey around the sun… very nearly done, and I have some reflections to share:
- First and most important, is that I have delighted in keeping a “daily” journal, numbering each day as I enter it in the morning, and as I leave it in the evening.
- While I grappled all year with the idea of turning 70, it is just in the last several weeks that I finally realized how fortunate I am, to be turning 70 when I am still feeling like 50. Thus, I have decided to name my 70th year, “The year of turning 70 while feeling like 50” …. (Stay Tuned…)
- And lastly but most importantly I am full of gratitude for every event and opportunity that came my way in 2022. I still did not travel and pretty much remained here in our little patch of pine forest working hard in all my studios and gardens.
My biggest and most delightful opportunity came when I was asked in January to give a talk in July to the Montana/Idaho regional group of SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates). I prepared for 6 months, using it as an impetus to get lots of work done. The title of my talk was simply “The Creative Process.” I created 2 new PSP (Personal Spirit Protection) shawls, (for a total of six) and spent a lot of time going through my stash of fabric scraps from 15-plus years of creating Art Cloth. It was the perfect event to sell some fabrics as well as give away many pieces of cloth.
Through the journey of preparing, I had many feelings of insecurity and self-doubt, wondering if I could still inspire people with my words and with my artwork. I wanted to talk about all the creative processes I was engaged in, especially the current ones that do not involve cloth. After all, the last time I was out teaching and talking was in 2018 and A LOT has happened since then… (like the whole world going through a major shift) ….YIKES!
I spent a lot of time doing my spiritual “art therapy” work and gradually got to the place where I was grateful for the opportunity to share what I was doing and decided to let fear go, make a new dress with baggy pants to wear, call them my “Desert Dweller Clothing” and “get on with it” …I was inspired by doing new work, creating new clothes, allowing myself to just “be” …. the best I could be. I brought 2 racks full of pieced Art Cloth and Art Clothing, plus my Paper Bowls and my Bones, my funky jewelry, cloth to share and sell, and the 5 Vision Keepers that were completed and on their canvases. The end result?
I realized how important it is to connect with community, to be with your “TRIBE” and how the exchange of Creativity and Making is such a gift for everyone present. I met with 20 beautiful and wildly creative women who touched my heart and who were in turn touched by my heart and my work. It was truly the highlight of my 69th year around the sun.
I have some new work on the website, www.melissaarnoldtextiles.com
Some PSP (Personal Spirit Protection) Scarves and some cards created from my botanical images on watercolor paper and my collage work. You might find something that speaks to your heart. Find them under “Shop the Gallery” and “Cloth” (as always, Thank You for looking…)
In closing, I just want to reflect on how easy it is “to get lost” on your journey when you allow fear (of any kind) to slip in and start elbowing its way through your thought processes…subtle negative chatter…and how vigilant we must be to guard our hearts, to do the work of positive self-love and above all, practice kindness to ourselves first and then to others.
CHAOS is swirling all around us, CHANGE is afoot, and HOPE is everywhere…keeping your hearts wide open and connected is the key.
Happy Solstice and Namaste Blessings,
p.s. please feel free to share this newsletter with a friend.