This morning as I was getting ready to step into the shower, I looked through the skylight and saw a most amazing big yellow bird with a red head! It seemed to be calm and powerful, as it gazed through the thick boughs of cedar and hopped from branch to branch. I watched for a while (wishing I had my phone), and he remained present during my shower and afterwards. But when I was dressed and dashed downstairs to get my phone and came back upstairs again, he was gone.
Now I did take a minute to search “yellow bird with red head” and quickly got the answer: it was a Western Tanager, not uncommon in these parts, apparently.
But more importantly, I now think about him still and the vision makes me feel like something just happened. The dazzling vision—of bright yellow with black and white wings, flashing a red head with black eyes, looking through the graceful green boughs—seems like a sign. It is a sign that a bird feels safe in my cedar tree—the tree of wisdom, according to the native peoples of this region—which means to me that this place is sacred. From there it is but a hop to conclude that my work–in a room looking over this tree–could be sacred too. As a lovely poem by Pascale Petit goes:
“They say we are just embroiderers
but when we are working well, our tower turns
into burnished fire and the mantle flows
from our fingers, tumbling through the air
in loops of delight.”*
So this message goes out to my brothers and sisters, the seamstresses, tailors, sewers, stitchers of all ages and nations: take heart! Your work matters, and you matter too. What we are sewing now will become part of this time’s collective memory, so make it beautiful! Or, as my motto goes:
La vie est trop courte pour se protéger tristement.
(Life is too short to wear a sad mask.)
Also, alongside yesterday’s face mask production, is a picture of our new T-Shirt!
Exclusive! Honey Girl t-shirts, now available for just $10 each (cash or check) in West Seattle (on my porch) or by mail order (w/SASE upon request).
Sizes: Youth Medium; Adult Small; Adult Medium; Adult Large; Adult Extra-Large. Email quickly to reserve yours, firstname.lastname@example.org !
(While my face masks take lots of time, these t-shirts are already done, and allow you to spread the good feelings with our winsome puppy logo.)
* from Pascale Petit, “Creation of the Himalayas,” cited in Sharon Blackie, If Women Rose Rooted, p. 180. Poem inspired by painting Embroidering the Earth’s Mantle by Remedios Varo (1961, featured below, with thanks to https://www.wikiart.org/en/remedios-varo/embroidering-the-earth-s-mantle-1961