This phrase is now lodged in our consciousness. Here we are. Put in our place. I wrote the little piece that follows, Finding my Place, a long while back (and didn’t post it for reasons explained in my previous Phento post ;/ Timing???….) I remembered it this week because I know I am good at Place and had enjoyed writing about it. I knew I would be fine with this new order by the Governor to be in my Place. Places are my specialty. In my career and since retiring, each hither I look or each room I yonder, now in this place we call home, has been lovingly tended; with intent to create comfort or joy or both. My love for color and textiles hugs us here in this place, when we cannot get the real kind from friends & family just now. Added sentimental elements from our family heritage show support for us during a scary time. We will move through our time and place as they also did.
With time for reflection about 15 days into quarantine and weeks more to come, a new angle on the power of place has landed heavily upon me. At this most basic level of shelter and place, and without escape to my previous places described below, I must face myself. I am everywhere good or bad. My half-begun creative projects, my sumptuous fabric stash, binders & boxes & tubs filled with a lifetime of previous joys are looking at me, asking their chance to tell their stories. Facing my “someday projects” gives me burden, face to face in my place. Is telling their stories my next art expression? What is my real art? As our world confronts us, so are we confronting ourselves.
Noting a saying passed around lately, “I guess time wasn’t the reason I don’t clean my house,” maybe time will be the reason I indulge my little stashes of past joys with future potential, or learn to move on without them. We are all letting go of a past world we knew, now facing our next position in it.
May you enjoy Your Places. I hope they are sublime and bring you comfort and joy. And if they do not, take this time to make them so.
Places are more than words, but I thank you for joining me to enjoy another place we can be together, this D’Log.
Be safe, be well. We will get through this…..by staying in place.
Please enjoy the little story to follow from our past places together and since….
Written Summer 2018:
Finding my Place
So I have this thing about Place. or Places. It seems to be part of my calling to create them. Even just now a bench, tilted on an angle above the creek, wasn’t special enough. So I ended up on the ground by a solid lovely and large rock, a little closer to the view and sound of the water. It’s a better place to be complacent. The light is nice; that pre-dusk lower sun that filters and back lights the grasses and plants is beckoning.
At home I continue to increase my ambient places and each are special as the last one created. Most are seasonal, effected by light, degrees of warmth and comfort. All are designed with fabrics, color, art and arrangements of art and beauty. If only it was more practical to land in each of them to linger longer in any given day! Now at least, age is accommodating that tendency with a new retirement time schedule and a noticeably slower physical pace. Which one to choose is a laughable stress when compared to previous career scenes, when my places were filled with activity, retail traffic and business decisions, with lots and lots of social connecting.
Recently, a shopping bag image brought back memory of my very first career creation of place. Some of you remember Buttons ‘n’ Trims in Denver in the 1970’s & 80’s. It became “a very special place” where creative community came together with braids, buttons, specialty fabrics and people, who celebrate these things, came to create their form of joy.
Now called branding, it was also a graphic design challenge to imply place. We chose an intertwined scroll centered around the words. It worked. We all felt creatively intertwined in our very special place.
Soon after, my next career creation took place in a place not far from where I now sit, on the banks of Gore Creek, in the Colorado mountains. To imply that place, not yet in existence, I chose the Columbine flower to suggest something as beautiful as the alpine scenery was about to take place. And what a place it was. D’Leas became a deeply creative source of joy for a large international & local community for the next 20 years. Again there was magic in the air when people, fabrics, ribbons, buttons, teachers & artists came together in one place.
The loss of this place was tangible, not merely an emotion. We knew it could not be replaced. It lives today in the lucky ones who knew it, lived it, played there, and learned the value of a life changing place.
Upon leaving that place, I placed a small button in the window sill before locking the door to leave forever…hoping the next inhabitants would feel the magic of that place through the small but mighty symbol. Something made me doubt it would happen.
Next up was TACtile which required touch to express its place. Though floors of cold cement spread wide, the intimacy of this place came quickly from all the fiber art and artisans that filled its walls and floor with chair seats. Truly a center of energy and the tactile arts, this place held big hopes and dreams to make Denver and the Rocky Mountain region a focal place for these arts. The region does remain so, but TACtile lost its people, its magic and then its place. However, it still has a big place in my heart.
My later career placements taught me the unexpected lesson of “not my place” in the years that followed. Creativity is not always welcome. Imagine my dismay and my displacement.
Take a look around you. Where is your Place? Your favorite place, your sad place, your energizing place, your relaxation place, your creative place and how can you make it even better with your fiber arts, your colors and your textiles. I know Place can bring together all the needs of the soul.. I have experienced it and I am looking for my next place. Perhaps it lies within.
I love seeing the logos from the shopping bags! those should be collector’s items 🙂 I remember each place so well and the joy of being in a place that inspires creativity. My heart goes out to retailers who have had to close their doors to the public for now. I have been reflecting many times in previous months about fabric stores closing and the general sense that people don’t have time to sew. The social distancing can perhaps now be a gift as many people do have time now and are uniting to sew masks in an effort to make a difference.
“Home Economics” is also something I have reflected on and something that I think will take on new meaning as we each shelter in place and see how economics are changing, not only in the way our finances are affected, but also our choices on how we are cooking, how we are shopping for food, and perhaps remaking/remodeling with what we have rather than buying new clothes or home decorating projects. Thanks for bringing us together for some reflections!
I really enjoyed reading this from you. I remember all those special “places “. That’s a lot of time that has passed for us too. I guess I’m so comfortable being at home since most of my work has been done from here. I am and always will be, a homebody. Sometimes it’s been pretty isolating, but it’s still a comforting place to be. As long as my kids are close by and I have Bill and my dog, I’m good. Sewing projects are always therapeutic! It saved me while living in Australia, so far away from my family and friends. And, we have another grand baby on the way! That always brings me special joy! Take good care, my friend!
Dianne, you absolutely hit the nail on the head. I am experiencing many of these same feelings while I am confined to my place. Will my garden be more beautiful this year because I have the opportunity to create it with more creative time to plan? Is my place now in my home to make it exactly how I want it to be? Instead of running around playing tennis, meeting with friends, and planning family events, I now have very busy days with video socializing and solitary walks. Yes, time to connect with my true purpose.
Keep writing, Dianne. Love your creative thoughts.
Loved this post. It’s beautiful and full of sentiments that resonate with me. Yes, you are preaching to the choir here, as an introvert and gardener, my sense of place (or home ) is like an extension of my skin. My home is quirky and something akin to “thrift store meets old museum” with a big dose of the west (my Colorado cowgirl days) and the Far East (Shoji doors and Buddhas) thrown in for spice. The garden is trying to be “permaculture and western natives” with a dose of medicinal prairie flowers sidling up to vegetables for fun. All located in a mid-century modern neighborhood. It’s my eclectic haven and kids love it too. There are little surprises to be found everywhere. Staying put isn’t very difficult or different for us right now. However, I do miss DAM and the library and Adelitas.
Again, I want to repeat this—you are a gifted writer and I “feel” a book in you that wants to be born and displayed on our coffee tables, adorning our place!
Heather, your home sounds spectacular and surely a wonder and delight for all who experience it! I think we may be kindred spirits. Not everyone understands the ‘museum’ theme. 🙂 For me, I can’t seem to give up changing displays and telling stories with all my wonderful things, collected over a life time. Always a merchant I guess. My warm home has brought me needed pleasure during this so difficult time for our world. Thanks for your feedback and thank you for reading my verbage!
I LOVED Buttons and Trims and still have a few projects that came from there. Then I found D’Lea’s and was a regular there. That PLACE brought me endless joy. NOW. I pour over many of the beautiful fabrics patterns and notions I bought there.MAYBE now is the time to put some of those Imaginative creations together, My deepest Thanks