|A new collection of Civil War Materials--dreams yet to be realized.|
It is interesting that Veronica Hallissey and Maria Wulf, both writers and fabric artists have recently posted blogs that address the sacredness of the person, and the violation that occurs when one is not supported to be who and what they are. I may be over-personalizing their words, but they triggered in me my own issues of being steered by a well-meaning parent who wanted to be sure that I had a career to "fall back on".
I used both nursing and teaching to help support my family, and have only become the "artist" that I have always want to be, after I became too ill to work. It is noteworthy that my favorite doctor once told me that a person can get ill simply from stifling their need to be creative, if they are so driven. Could that have been the case with me? I have been out of nursing almost seven years, due to illness, but I was so reluctant to "let go" of my nursing license that I renewed it in New York as current practice hours are not a prerequisite there as they are here in Vermont and living close to the New York State border, this seemed a reasonable way to keep licensed.
The truth is I was "programmed" to be a nurse. From the time I was a little girl, every time I would utter dreams of my future life, my father would add, "you can do that if you become a nurse". I can still remember telling him that I wanted to work in a circus and imagined myself as a flying trapeze artist and instead of taking me for acrobatic lessons, though that would have been the fastest way to extinguish that dream, for I was anything but athletic, he simply replied, "You could do that if you were a nurse"? His answer was the same when I imagined myself being a missionary, and feeding starving babies in Africa, never mind that I didn't belong to a church with such missionary zeal.
|Rolls of strips of materials to be stitched into a simple 9 Patch -9 Patch Quilt|
|Strips pinned and ready to sew. A modern fast method of piecing blocks.|
|Pretty and how easy!|
Buildings needed to be square, according to him,and his work was to provide and construct the steel form-work to support them. His creativity was all done with a slide ruler, including addressing any emotional or personal issues that I had in growing up. He also found it fun to dicker over my allowances, wanting me to defend myself and learn negotiating skills. It only made me feel guilty for needing his money and made me cry.
|A simple set up for pressing and hanging my strips. One of three work stations.|
My mother was a stay-at-home mom who made the house pretty, and did the cooking and ironing. She was an artistic person, who would have been a fish out of water if she had had to conform to any particular workplace environment. He didn't seem to notice that his philosophy of throwing out Crayons, didn't work at our house...my mother loved to color as much as we did, and every one of my school papers got graded higher for the artwork that accompanied them. I delighted in convincing him every year that instead of a box of 24 colors, my teachers "required" we have the extra large box of crayons and colored pencils as well! It was not true, but I so I loved all those colors!! He respected my mother's artistic abilities and was pleased that I had acquired her talents as well, but he took his job as Dad seriously and he prepared us kids for the real work world, where art had no business.
|Trying freezer paper applique on another project.|
|"New-to-me" glue technique for applique, making for more greater precision.|
|So far, so good! This is Daiwabo Japanese Fabric. Is it awesome?!!|
I think my nursing days are over. In my future, I will likely get brave and let my nursing career go altogether. It has served me well to support my family as well as being an advocate for my own health and the health of my family, and that is more than sufficient use of it! I don't need to hang on to my old careers but instead, unleash my artistic potential. It is a dream that I wouldn't have realized had my health not necessitated it. It is nice to know that God knew my heart and worked hard to redirect me to living the creative life I have always wanted to live.
|Dear Dad,may you RIP. I got your determination and drive and will not starve!|