Woven strings hanging on walls in castles tell us the tales of knights, kings, queens, hunting, war and the need to protect against drafts in large buildings. I’ve been to museums in many places and admired the time and effort to achieve these beautiful tapestries. Then I went to Morocco. Somehow the guide brought us to a carpet dealer. I think there were relations or crossed incentives for each carpet that could be sold to a tourist. They were beautiful, colorful, all handmade by members of what they told me was the Berber tribe, desert people. I am a sucker for a well presented adventure, so we bought one. It was golden, and it became one of the wedding gifts for my daughter from us. It also inspired me.
I was at a fragile state in 2014, both mentally and physically, and I wanted to leave a footprint of who I was in case anything ever happened to me. So I started my own embroidered tapestry. It’s 40 inches by 48 inches on monk’s cloth. It tells a tale of what I love and who I am. It isn’t finished by any means yet. I’m embroidering every single tiny square with flowers and bushes. Add to the gardens and moving up you will find the lighthouses, great lakes and finally arriving in space; beautiful, colorful outer space. I need to add my home, my dogs, more gardens, some fish. The Potomac River and the Mississippi are sure to turn up somewhere. There is no pattern to rely on, and some of the stitches are better than others. It makes for a contrast of the changes in my life. Sometimes I am well organized and a perfectionist. Other times I give a lick and a promise, and just make sure something is on the canvas. The contrasts are so me.
I have to finish this before my reunion in 2019. I started it at the one in 2014 where I was mocked for taking on a project like this. I thought I could finish it in a year, but it has to be done for the next reunion. If nothing else, maybe it will show how my life has twisted from promises of finishing things to finishing things. I have a book to finish this year as well. That will be on the tapestry somewhere I’m sure, somewhere where the fairies and gnomes live in my heart. My dad used to say, “Annie has only one foot in reality, and she hops a lot.” He was right. There will be a hopping Annie with a jump rope and a bit of tar on her knees in the tapestry as well.
A life is worthy of a tapestry. All lives are worthy of the woof and warp that give us flavor. If I could create a tapestry of the world, I would need a much bigger monk’s cloth and a lot more time. I would create the lines of peace and friendship I hope to see develop more fully in the world. I would take the violence, hate and prejudice and cut their threads from the pattern. The three sisters of the fates would be as cousins to me as they weave their patterns. Perhaps I could convince them to cut those threads that I chose to cut as well. Perhaps, but today I will work on my tapestry and try to make it as truthful as possible. I may even become an antique someday and the tapestry, too.
Are there threads you would wish to see on my creation? I’d love to hear from you.