What think you I take my pen in hand to record?

A truly great literary question if every there was one. I wish I could take credit for a line like that, but it's Whitman, from "Leaves of Grass" (http://www.whitmanarchive.org/published/LG/1867/poems/50). It's one of my favorite poems. Everybody should have one if you can pull it off without sounding pretentious. I don't know if I'm succeeding there.

WHAT think you I take my pen in hand to record?

The battle-ship, perfect-model'd, majestic, that I saw
pass the offing to-day under full sail?

The splendors of the past day? Or the splendor of the
night that envelops me?

Or the vaunted glory and growth of the great city
spread around me?—No;

But I record of two simple men I saw to-day, on the pier,
in the midst of the crowd, parting the parting of dear friends;

The one to remain hung on the other's neck, and passionately kiss'd him,

While the one to depart, tightly prest the one to remain in his arms.

I can't think of why this line popped into my head. Perhaps because I sat down to write and I didn't know about what. Lately I feel as though I'm stuck in a loop (once a programmer; always a programmer). I finish something (or almost) , and then it's off to the next big thing; repeat. I suppose life is meant to be like that, but I also think there needs to be some just plain "being" every once in a while.

My big batch of show submissions are all out but no word yet. I confess that I blew off at least one show opportunity because I just couldn't fit it in. The next 3 weeks are focused mostly on church work. The Rector search has moved from high gear into something akin to warp speed. We (the committee) are conducting 4 2-day visits/interviews over the next 3 weeks. The candidates come to visit us, we show them around the area, wine & dine, and interview them. With luck (I suppose that should be faith & prayer) we will be having a committee retreat in early March to select the final 3. They will advance to the lightening round--I mean they will meet with the Vestry for another round of interviews. I'm hoping for white smoke before the daffodils fade. It's all very exciting, but it's overwhelming at times. Right now we have four great candidates and somehow we have to discern a mutual call between one individual and our community.

So, that's all rattling around in my head along with this community art workshop that I'm teaching on March 1. BIG LESSON: less is more. My grand plan is way to grand to pull off and I'm trying to scale back. For 1 thing, I was planning on having people combine paint and fusible fabric to do surface design on clothing. Here's what I've learned from making samples:

  • Fusible adheres very well to cloth that has fabric paint on it...until it goes trough the washer. Fusible is out. Let's not talk about the bolt of Wonder Under that I now own. Let's just say that I'm going to be doing a lot of applique.
  • Finished garments are a pain to work with. And, the pleat in the back of a man's dress shirt is in the way. Shirts are too big to start with. Do we really need that much more fabric?
  • You can make low-cost stamps out of self adhesive craft foam, a pair of cheap scissors, and a scrap of foam core.

My repertoire now consists of freezer paper mask/stencil, stamping, and free hand painting. Folks are supposed to bring their own shirt to work on. I'll probably bring some muslin squares and poster board for the kids just in case. Send a prayer my way on the first of March. Gasp.

I swear I meant for this to be an upbeat post. I'm not sure it reads that way. Not to worry. Spring is on the way and that always seems to change everything.