Fortunately the India trip to Jaipur comes round very quickly after new years eve, we also had GB selections to get through.... my son Harry had been training really hard to get a place on team... (free style kayaking for all of you new to my stories) - so when the 12th of Feb came round and I found myself on the mini bus in Delhi heading back to my 3rd home Pahar Ganj I was without doubt relieved to not be thinking about In The Wool Shed, and trying to make sense of where I should be going with it all. When I am in India I get so caught up in my passion for the country, its textiles, the people... it bewitches me. This was the 3rd workshop - and each year I crave a deeper knowledge and understanding of textiles in India... I always buy books there... to add to my collection - they sit unread from one year to the next in my busy life in the UK. This year more than any time the need to do something about it was stronger.
Skip forward a few weeks.... to find myself watching with Harry "Finding Nemo", a wonderful film we had watched together before when Harry was small - and there was my first light bulb moment, "just let go"..... Fear had been setting in recently, taking hold, when you follow your dreams... and things don't work out as planned it can be unsettling, not my first experience of such things in my life, but when we do not know the answers - its easy to get caught up in fear, I noticed more single magpies... and the spiral of worry gained momentum. I knew in that moment of the film that "letting go" was exactly what I needed to do - to stop trying to find the answers and just allow it to happen..... gosh what a wonderful way to live, something I have regularly tried to do - and end up forgetting how to do it when it's most needed... Trusting in ourselves to know the way forward.... and letting the journey just unfold, the present moment being our only guide. The characters in Finding Nemo show this so innocently and beautifully, the forgetful Dori knew the way, while the controlling Marlin, father of Nemo - so desperately wanted to know - but wouldn't listen to the sheer madness of Dori and her trust in the currents of life... wonderful wonderful. when I see a magpie now I see the bubbling sea currents and the excited turtles riding along it, trusting in the universe to take them where they needed to go.
The next lightbulb moment came in Wales during the Easter holidays. Harry has GCSEs this year - so the deal was he would spend the morning revising and I would knit or read - and in the afternoon we would walk the beaches - absolute bliss. The cottage has no internet, no tv, no dishwasher and no micro wave for that matter - its intensely quiet - and I soaked up the peace. Along with my knitting I took the lovely book Fabric of India I had purchased at the V&A exhibition in November - yet to be looked at.... and I read and read.... delighting in the information provided, returning to my deep love of Indian textiles. My knitting project was to complete "The Gardner".... and the 2 things started to come together...designing knit wear with an Indian influence..... that is my direction - that is exactly where I need to be.... my energy came back, my excitement oozing... it just made so much sense to me.... My passion for natural fibres and India coming together in a relationship that requires my fine art sense of play and understanding of the visual arts ...... to take it forward in a new way.... the ideas started to rush forward, plans for projects, workshops.... oooh what a joy.
It was not long after that I realised - my 3rd lightbulb moment that the link to all of this is a mindful approach.... I have so wanted to incorporate meditation into my work.... and have dabbled along the way - but lacked the confidence go forward with it, but some things need time, and when they are ready - they just easily and comfortably come....here it was coming together.... the moment of letting go - stopping, just being.... it was there, nothing new, just stuff that has been hovering around me - but unable until then to be pieced together.
And here i am now -the time is perfect - time to really believe in my dream, it was never shattered or lost - it just needed time to become even more what it has always needed to be - I just didn't believe in myself fully - to really go for what I wanted.... it seemed to much to ask for .... It was that order from Dubai and the disappointment, the stress and relief to really see where I was going, its not mass production I am interested in - its creativity its - natural dyes, India, mindfulness, fine art... its always been there In The Wool Shed.... now its time to get it all out the bag and share....