The tree of life.

Mandala tree of life.

“A tree is an incomprehensible mystery.” ~ Jim Woodring

“A stricken tree, a living thing, so dignified, so admirable in its potential longevity, is, next to man, perhaps the most touching of wounded objects.” ~ Edna Ferber

Full Moon Tree of Life mandala by Caterina Martinico.  You can view and buy her work at SoulArteEclectica.etsy.com

I love trees!  Some would call me a ‘tree hugger’ and I would consider it a compliment.

We are blessed here in NC to have Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest in the Southwestern mountains.  It was named, of course, for the poet who penned “Trees.”  It has the distinction of being one of the few existing forests never to have been logged.  Some of its trees are said to be 800 years old.  It is truly awe-inspiring.  If you ever visit our beautiful state, try to visit the Forest.  You’re probably going to the Biltmore House in Asheville anyway, so a side trip to the forest isn’t that much further to travel.  I sound like the Chamber of Commerce, don’t I?

So why on earth am I writing about trees?  I’m trying to figure that out as I type.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m working on an art quilt which will have (I hope) a tree on it.  So I’ve been looking at many, many images of trees.  Also, I was an avid tree climber as a child.  I always tried to climb higher than my older brother and I usually could because I weighed less than he and the high small branches could hold me.  Trees were almost as important to me as people when I was a child.  I romped in the woods.  I slid down hills on pine needles and leaves.  One time my brother and I etched a hole in a maple tree and caught the sap in a little bucket, took it to the kitchen and cooked it down for syrup.  (I think we got a tablespoonful.)  Mom helped with the cooking.  I would be a very unhappy camper if I lived in a place without trees.  Trees represent life to me.

I am particularly struck by Edna Ferber’s words above as she compares a damaged tree to a damaged human being.  What an apt metaphor for my ex-husband right now.

(I took a break here for several hours so I could think about this.)

After all that break time, I still think it’s about D.  The last few times I’ve seen him he has had the appearance of a sad, wounded man.  I have reached a point in this relationship where I realize how much this divorce was about him and not me.  He became his own worst enemy and now he is stricken just like that tree Edna Ferber mentions.  I believe he has compromised his own potential.  I feel helpless to help him.  But I would if I could.  I still love him as a human being and I wish him well.  However, I no longer long for him to come back and patch up our marriage.  We are two very different individuals now.

Barbara Walters often asks her interviewees, “If you were a tree, what kind would you be?”  I’ll have to think more about what kind I am but I’m pretty sure D is an oak.  I hope he finds a good arborist.

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Art quilt: Divorce therapy.

Ideating an art project.

“Only love interests me, and I’m only in contact with things I love.” ~ Mark Chagall

I’m working on a small art quilt.  It’s about 12″ x 15″.  I have to start small because I’m trying to learn new techniques, new to me, that is.  The last one I made was 9″ x 12″, I think.  I also used a pattern, loosely, and a video to get the hang of it.  There’s a photo of it in one of my early posts– The pros and cons of being queen. The one I’m working on now will be much more creative, I hope.  Even though I added my own touches to the last one, it was still someone else’s design.  This one will be mine.

I’ve mentioned before that I love fabric and color.  Also, I have been reading/studying/admiring art quilt magazines and books for the past few years.  This is how I do things.  I study and study.  Think and think.  And eventually I decide:  Hey!  I can do that.  I want to do that.  I’m going to do that.

I’ve made quilts before, the traditional patchwork type that Granny used to make.  And I love them.  I still have mental images of my great-granny’s quilts on the beds in her house.  Beautiful.  But for whatever reason, I have reached a stage of life where I don’t like the restrictions of a precision-quilted piece.  Art quilting is free, creative, whimsical, spontaneous.  Just the way I want to be.

I think all of this speaks to who I am today.  The restraints of a marriage and a relationship are gone.  I didn’t want a divorce but I’ve had to accept it anyway.  And now I find that, in my personal life, I don’t want restraints.  I feel free.  I like it.

Here’s my work-in-progress.  I hope it will be a work of art when it’s finished.  I hope I will be, too.  I’ll post the finished quilt.  The finished me will take a bit longer.