Today I wonder, how did our ancestors get their share of satisfaction? I can get that by creating beauty and by being soaked up by nature. Now that we have questionable worldwide restrictions, travel is not so easy anymore, and how fortunate I am not being depended on worldwide travel for my share of satisfaction at the moment.
How did they, our ancestors, get their share of contentment and filling of the spirit? Having a flock of cattle, sheep, goats and a battery of children, there was no such thing as buying a ticket and wander through the desert or just leave all behind and cycle the world for an unknown number of years. This was for the ascetics, not for the mere worker of the land.
Talking about worker of the land, I start to feel like one. With the potatoes, onions, garlic and beans starting off, I see how being depended on satisfaction outside a workers life is rather pure luxury. What I mean is, would I still be only needing travel and far away lands, I would not be too well off. Or being enslaved to one’s dependency, like being where one is not, just as growing potatoes and garlic could be.
Anyway, with the desert living in my system, the open vastness of nothingness engraved in my spirit, I start to nurture nature its abundance. The worldwide restrictions could not have come at a better timing, although the hormones raging in my system tell me otherwise on other days.
Always being interested in what local people did with their natural surrounding -perhaps extracting their share of satisfaction from it- I started off experimenting with onion peels. I used pomegranate too and black walnut hulls from the land we are on. I try all that is surrounding me, like goldenrod and carob. Much more later, when weed starts to bloom with the opening of spring.
The first creation of embroidery on a piece of fabric dyed with natural edible material is a fact. The process pretty much resembling a desire to be in landscapes filled with pleasing visual aspect, the desire to create beauty and derive satisfaction has become the opposite of being in lands unknown to where I was born. Perhaps I found the answer to our ancestors filling of the soul?
Enough philosophical mumble jumble, I am working on a cotton pouch dyed with black walnut. One is finished which is dyed with onion skins. It has gotten a treatment with soda ash to scour the cotton, cream of tartar and alum to open the imaginary pores of the cotton to absorb the color, and some salt to settle the color. The pouch is embroidered with my own design of kogin style pattern, a Japanese tradition.
Including a compact manual on how to dye cotton.
In the meantime I am drawing patterns, learning styles of old-fashioned techniques, find out about sowing and growing vegetables, discovering the great wide world of weed and chemicals to settle colors (and health benefits) coming from the, often despised, non-cultivated plant.