The stillness of stones

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Dear Ute,

Thank you for the appreciative words about the stones. I am really touched that this work has resonated for you and others in the way it has. Each time I show the slides and talk about my time in Germany I understand another piece about the relational practice and interconnectedness between memory, object and process. So it is my appreciation that I would like to share with you, for having invited me and welcoming me in such an open way. I am sorry (still) that the large stone of your family house was taken. Given that I am in a full scale immersion into the question of home and dwelling, and that the recent flooding of my place has invited me to rethink what it is that I care for and have around me, (once again), the tenderness of this large stone's disappearance is something I come back to often. I wonder with the passing of time, what this has come to signify and mean for you.

I have also the stones that Stephanie's sister had brought from California to be given as a wedding present. I have not forgotten them. They are too now part of the process in my own life, as I invite and struggle with a sense of what it is an appropriate image and representation for relationship. With patience toward the time that it takes to come to know myself and to accept myself 'alone' and as 'part of', I am coming closer to being able to respond to the challenge of crocheting stone covers for these two spirited beings in a manner that seems appropriate. This perhaps is one of the most challenging of the stone coverings, since for me it is so present in my own life. Please let Stephanie know that I sit with this and embrace this challenge on a daily basis. With the stones placed as they are in my living space, they serve as a point of reflection and almost a magnet for my own becoming. And I will in time have found a way to crochet them adequate to the self and the partnership... At that moment I know that I will have found myself through another part of my own path and can offer something that feels well.

The other stone I still have is the one of the woman who held this stone through the journey she made into bringing her daughter into this life. This one too has touched my heart in a particular way. The stone, so resonate of the hopes and fears about the response-abilities of parenting, is very alive in my life with Zev, now 14 coming into his own ethical consciousness and Léa, now 9, becoming to experience herself as 'becoming woman'. My prayer is to be present with them and open to their be-comings and be-goings. I want to get this stone back to her guardian and I also in some ways want to hold on to it (even knowing how selfish this is)...

It is still hard for me to make choices when I feel that I will be disappointing someone if I choose to take care of my own needs, and in the taking care of those needs, someone else's desire will not be met by me, or at least in the way in which they or I assume or expect or simply want. I have sat with this and written many pages in my journal trying to come to a sense of myself in this and have seen how I had used the question of artistic choice as a way of masking the vulnerability that I feel in saying that I am wanting to choose, needing to choose to stay in Montreal for whatever length of time it will take for me to find myself a house to buy and at least begin to make it home.

Giving myself permission to come home to myself, is after all, on some level that even I wasn't aware of when I participated in Vogelfrei and the crocheting projects of "one stitch at a time", what I have been inviting, encouraging and making myself come towards. Now that I have lived it so fully in my artistic practice (and with such a sense of gift having been given to me by those who have invited me and participated with me this experience), it is time to integrate it and real-ize it in my life. And I am eager to do so, I dip into being scared every so often, and I have a sense of the possible in a way that I almost cannot recognize in myself.

This silence
is not about denial;
Nor is it about avoiding words
negating secrets or screams.

This silence is not for hiding from
holding back.
This silence in not about refusing talk, song,
and sound;
It is not born of shutting out the sobbing,
coughing or even laughter.

This breath,
this sitting,
this silence is
holding with open palms
internal and external
surface and depth
connecting and letting go.
It is relational, observing, minding, feeling.

This silence may be turbulent, petulant,
irritable, disturbed, agitated.
It may be calm, gentle, sensitive
even soft.

the stones are.