Saturday, July 7, 2012


You have heard me talk of the AAQI, Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, and the small art quilts that I make for this organization. But, quilting is a new venture for me. Something I have only learned these past few years because the opportunity to work in a quilt shop came my way.

Why would I work in a quilt shop if I wasn't a quilter?  Because I am a fabric artist, a lover of textiles, a lover of color and pattern, and most importantly I am a weaver.  Or at least I was a weaver.

My Mother's dementia has stripped me of my creativity. The chaos that has been running through my life because of her condition has chased my muse away. My looms remain bare, there is no weaving going on in my house.

My weaving business has folded.

I was teaching classes, I was giving talks, I was taking classes, my works were in exhibits, I was an active guild member, I was selling my handwoven items at craft fairs, in museum gift shops, and to customers all around the world through my on-line shop.

My looms are covered in dust and I cannot find my way back.

As I cleaned out my Mother's house, I took back the many woven items that I had made for her. The linen table runner that covered her sideboard for many years. The two large rugs from the bedroom floor. The scarf that she wore with her good coat to church each Sunday.

Today at my Alzheimer's caregivers support group we talked about expressing ourselves creatively. Spilling out our grief and feelings with art. Somehow writing this blog helps, but I miss my looms.  I miss the weaver that was within me.

My Mother has lost her creativity too.  She has no desire (impetus, need, want) to do anything. It is so hard for me to accept this part of the new her.  She is not reading, or writing, she doesn't draw or doodle. She has no desire to watch the birds or walk in the gardens. She is lost and so am I.

How can I express my grief with my weaving?  How to merge the process of creating something with the reality of losing someone?
The first thought that popped into my head, was to weave her a shroud. Oh my, how morbid.
Would I be like Penelope? Weaving the shroud by day and unweaving it at night, trying to extend time before the inevitable?  I'll have to make it blue, it was her favorite color.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Umm, forgive me , but perhaps just ten or twenty stolen minutes of creativity here and there would make you feel good. Just a rhought. Its what I try to do.