|Old Indian pouch close-up.|
I'd like talk further about india's fantastic posting on BODO cloth as I believe it has consequences that go to the heart of my creativity. When presented with such a rich and evocative article it is easy to feel bereft of tradition within our western culture. I have commented that I believe in order to have depth of understanding, empathy, rapport with (women) from diverse cultures, we, in the 'west', need first to plead our own traditions to ourselves. We need to seek them out and wear them as a badge of honour - our own identities. Even in a consumer driven culture we enact significant things that women have done for eons. Yet we feel we have no traditions. Or worse, shallow traditions. But are we really that skint?
It may be exceeding difficult, at first, to find depth of tradition within consumerist society. However, I am sure it is here. Our own pearl, for each of us to find. I write this because my conviction that we need to uphold our own traditions, whether they be the way our table is set, or the how and why of gift giving, directly impacts creating storycloth. All we believe and do seeps into storycloth.
I see a political aspect to creating storycloth. I cannot avoid it. Through my creations I am making political comment. The raven as trickster is not unlike consumerism where we are 'tricked' into thinking our existences are so shallow that we need to constantly replenish our souls with some tacky piece of plastic which promises to assuage our emptiness. Consequences meted out by Spirit Bear could be construed as political events. To varying degrees, each of us who makes cloth, creates with cloth, is stitching a testament to tradition and status, western or otherwise.
When faced with the rich, intriguing, seeming unattainable traditions of another culture I ask myself what portal of understanding can this open for me about my own traditions. What can I glean from this that will strengthen my ability to communicate my own depths of ancestral wisdom. As with the BODO cloth, I too, have a long, long unbroken chain of wisdom bearers from which to draw succour and strength. I, too, struggle to remember this truth. Yet I seek it further with each new stitch I make.
Happy stitching, Gilly