Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Heed the call

Floral images ushered me into sleep last night, into dreams no longer remembered except as impressions and a sense of peace.  Flowers printed onto everything have elbowed other thoughts aside (thank you!) to become a renewed obsession, language, identity.  The call of these sprigged beauties has stalked me for a while.  Their voice is growing louder and much more insistent.
Fabric by Liberty of London
We are, I know, called by what needs us.  For a few months if not longer, illustrators from around the world, especially those who use lots of red, but others as well, have pulled me into unimagined realms where I feel oddly at home, welcome.  Add the florals which arrived more than a year ago with roses-on-anything and I think I have absorbed these images for an adequate amount of time.  Now I need to take the next step.  What also calls is the temporarily set aside relationship to intentional, exhausting, healing exercise.  My physical therapy is now up to me and I have let myself be distracted by the shine and sparkle of flowered print and illustration.  I'm not sure that exercise needs me.  I certainly need it.

In this movie that is life, I see us all handed clumsily-wrapped bundles, bound in rumpled paper and too much knotted string, shoved emphatically in our direction on the platform of the train station by a stranger - he may be wearing Leonard Cohen's famous blue raincoat, torn at the shoulder.  Each parcel is intended for no one else, is an assignment that can be completed only by one candidate.  We leave that package in the taxi at our peril, for it will appear again, shouting louder, seeping more revoltingly, causing strangers to give a sharp look, then turn away.  They recognize the cry, especially if they have ignored their own.

It is not a neat business, nothing predictable about it, unless one tracks the clues back and back through this lifetime, maybe others.  A grandmother's fading wallpapers, reused scraps on an intricate quilt, childhood picture books, murals painted on kitchen and patio walls, the chintz dress of a handmade Raggedy Ann.  I have been the teabag in this cup my whole life 

Yesterday's post with Diebenkorn's thoughts on certainty tell some of this story.  I have come to believe that every moment is an act of faith, nothing is assured or promised, not in an ordinary fashion.  I think what we were guaranteed was an adventure, depending on your definition of adventure, something much closer to myth than the Hardy Boys.  Danger, defeat, redemption, turnabout, loss, triumph, stoic plodding, graceful turns and endless wonder. 


Kass said...

I used to see floral prints when I closed my eyes at night. I wondered what all this was about. I love your way with words around this theme...especially love "...handed clumsily-wrapped bundles, bound in rumpled paper and too much knotted string..."

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - Thank you. I have come to trust the out-of-nowhere themes and things that call to us are there for a reason. One of my greatest lessons is patience and this certainly asks for it. To let it all unspool, to follow with no idea where I may be led and to learn to enjoy the ride. So far, it seems to work. Hello, good to see you here. xo

Kass said...

Who else would think to use "unspool" as a descriptor. Wonderful!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - Thank you. The joy of words. xo

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

"Endless wonder" indeed and couple that with hope rather than despair and it becomes a symphony in my head. The tapestry is more of a melody for my mind but in it I find all sorts of hues and plenty of emotions to fill thr soul.
I love how you play with imegary using words so well placed.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Heidrun - Hello and thank you, nice to see you here. A tapestry, the woven bits of thread or less tangible material, is just what we have. Rarely are we given or shown one solid sheet of anything, it is all a mosaic, a collage. Hope is the symphony that plays for me as well. xo