Friday, June 02, 2017

road trip after qn

 We drove east from Athens Ohio towards New York state.
 We wanted to see our daughter in the last week of her residency at Women's Studio Workshop.
April is curious about materials .
She's exploring ceramics and printmaking
She sets up situations that make use of the wsw's kiln and press,
She allows both tools and materials to do what they each do best

Her artwork arrives.
Her artwork makes us think about how we are just specks in this big world
I took more photos of her work - maybe later I will share them.
We made our way north and west back home to Canada by way of country roads.
We noticed the immensity of the USA and the emptiness

Pema Chodron teaches that there are three principal charateristics of human existence
Three facts of life
Stop struggling against them, she says.
The three principal characteristics of human existence are impermanence, ego-lessness and suffering.
The hardest one for me to understand is ego-lessness.  what does that mean?

it's the idea of just being in the world
just being
just going
there isn't really a sun'rise' or a sun'set'.  the sun just keeps going
and although the rainbow seems so vivid and real, in truth it is no thing
it just is
I will stitch my way through this idea of egolessness and my understanding of it

I love stitching.
Stitching and me, we just are.


  1. Judy - Always after reading one of your posts I find myself taking a deep breath, letting it out as a sigh ... of agreement or sadness or wonder ... but most often simply in recognition of the truth told and gratefully received

  2. love how you stitch through all the ups and downs & thicks and thins of life

  3. The temptation is to say I "should" be egoless, thereby falling over before taking the first step. I do not understand how to approach this. Is it a koan?

  4. Leonie, I looked up the definition of koan.
    I don't think that this idea of just being in the world is a riddle.
    I also wonder however, about the idea of 'should'....and appreciate that you have brought this up. Thank you for paying attention and thinking along with me.

    I think that for me, driving in the country beside the man I have lived with for over 40 years, with the big sky all around us, visiting my child who works with natural elements like sunlight and evaporation to make unusual art that touches on our spirit, just having received accolades for my own work at an exhibition that I have aspired to just be included in for years, that to then just go on and keep loving him and her and more and more, and to keep working and keep seeing and touching and smelling and is not a riddle to be egoless, but a mantra.


  5. I find when I remove myself from any outcome and just be with the moment this abandonment allows for that state of being expectations, no judgments. Thank you for sharing your journey with the stitch! Your beautiful spirit comes thru' with you words and your work! Thank you!

  6. Judy, when you express it that way I do comprehend what you mean by egoless. Regarding the koan, the aspect that I thought was relevant is what a person might gain from studying 'the riddle'. Clearly this is not an 'answer' per se, but as I heard recently, the act of considering the koan, the sifting of the ideas it raises, allows your thoughts to move to comprehension.

  7. i'm glad your april is at wsw, a place to nurture questioning and making. isn't new york state amazing? i feel somehow blessed that you stitched your way across this place i call home.

  8. Yes, Leonie

    When you think about the act of considering all these three things - impermanence, egolessness and suffering - they are koans.

    When I wrote the post a few days previous - I truly had to think more about egolessness - I had to sift my thoughts and consider - I am still thinking about it.

    Thank you very much for being a deep reader and thinker and responding to my blog in this way.


    and Velma - New York State is amazing. xo

  9. I've tried for a long time to undo ego, I'm getting better at letting it go.

  10. Thank you for the words of Pema Chrodron. They came at a good time.

    P.S. Your Soft Summer Gone quilt is like a painting that jumps out at me as I wander through a museum. I'll stop and just look at it in awe with no words to describe it.


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx