Last week started my fist on-call 24 hour duty at the hospital. It is an interesting experience to be around with patients especially those needing critical care and attention. Anyway, for my first on-call duty I created a back log of consults for the next chaplain who succeeded my shift and so I was flustered and a bit disappointed with myself. I interpreted the instructions quite differently from the actual protocol and I did brood and thought about how else I could have challenged my comfort level on the procedures. I carried this frustration until I got back home.
Needing to get a a good transition, I went to my studio and continued working on my tapestry. Progress is slow but progress none the less.
So, I cut the filling material using the pattern of the Good Shepherd.
The more tedious part is where I layer the different fabrics. This is where I think I made the emotional and mental transition from the frustration I had with myself at the hospital. This is because I felt that I had to be mindful when I started pinning and tracing the pattern on the fabric. It demands attention and time. I felt that my mind was shifting to another gear and leaving another space so that my presence brought me back to what I was doing. Sometimes I hear people say that when they cook, work on a craft or carpentry project, or clean their home, they feel that they are leaving their worries behind. I feel the same way. In my case, my reality shifted to my artwork. So something as concrete as my artwork could help me shift my focus mindfully. After spending time doing my artwork I felt my mind went on a vacation on its own.
Cutting the pieces of the pattern also helped me to focus on my vision without neglecting what I ought to do in the present moment where I had to trace and cut the fabric. Surprisingly, it did not overwhelm me. Probably because I see the pieces and I know how those pieces have a place somewhere in the overall vision of the project. There is a part of me that trusted this outlook.
Layering was where I felt I engaged the most because it grounded my mind and senses to what I was really doing. When I pinned the pattern on the fabric I felt the push of the pins into the fabric. When I was cutting the fabric I tried to focus on the marked lines and felt the pressure of the scissors in my hand.
While I want to say that art is imagination, there is a part in the process where I had to leave my imagination behind and be in my own groove. This is what I felt when I was cutting the fabric and layering the pieces on top of each other.
At the end of my time with my tapestry project I felt I was at another place from where I began. I still remember my frustration about my performance in the hospital but I now feel distanced from that experience that it merely remains an experience in and of itself. Maybe this is what most people call perspective.