Autumnal Equinox

I did what I knew … when I knew better, I did better.

Maya Angelou
Dried Indigo Bundles

All the natural moon signs of 2019 pointed to the fact that 2020 was going to be an eventful year.  However, none of us realized that 2020 was destined to be such a life changing event.  This year has brought me to rock bottom emotionally and physically.  My tribulations started on Ash Wednesday, February 26th, when I was evicted from my home studio.  I take full responsibility for letting it happen because I let the depression of grief overwhelm me.  I did the best that I could but my best was a failure.  I didn’t see The Blues of failure and disappointment coming, and I’ve been wallowing in self pity for six months.  And now on the Autumnal Equinox, I’ve got to pick up the broken pieces of my life and create joy that comes from peaceful contentment.  Now that I know better, I will do better because the past six months have been brutal.

What I lost is gone and I must seek gratitude for what I have, and smile through my tears.  I lost my pottery studio but I’ve got textiles and my dying mother’s prayers anointing me with multi-generations of indigenous fiber arts knowledge.  Art heals!  And textile making heals women.  Once you have lived through hell it changes you.  Elders say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  When I’m suffering and every breath is a struggle hearing those words are like a slap in the face.  The death of one’s parents, grandparents and all nurturing family members as an only child is a tribe no one wants to be a part of.  Never being married or giving birth to a child further isolates me.  Society overlooks us for the most part and fails to see what an incredible group of women we are.  We are survivors!  Historically, we heal ourselves through textile making.

Only through my struggles since Ash Wednesday, am I realizing a deeper understanding of my dying mother’s prayers.  In order to demonstrate the healing power of growing color, making bundles, dyeing cloth and stitching I had to reach rock bottom.  And on the last day of summer in 2020 that’s where I found myself.  But yesterday is gone forever, and today is a new day.  Today is full of the promise of renewal.  My prayers are for steadfast persevering faith and unshakeable hope.  Join me as I sojourn my way up from rock bottom practicing indigenous ways of knowing through traditional textile making.

Published by Carola Jones, Artist

Indigenous Artist, Writer, Designer | Internet Techie | Pow Wow Dancer | Lover of Dyeing Cloth Especially With Indigo, Madder & Marigold | 4th Generation Hand Embroidery & Sewing Enthusiastic | Working Traveler | NC Toisnot & Mattamuskeet Tuscarora & FL Seminole | Algonquin Gullah Mixed Blood

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