Paradisaea n:o 20 // Refined In Fire -Collection
Size 6 (4,7 m)
Warp: Handpainted mercerized cotton
Weft: Handpainted cotton (EC)
Woven with a zig zag fancy twill (twill threading, crackle treadling)
“I do not at all understand
the mystery of grace -
only that it meets us where we are
but does not leave us where it found us.”
- Anne Lamott
Sometimes life has two main colours at the same time.
The process of weaving this wrap and the conversations behind it have been a journey to two different landscapes, two colours.
It seems we seldom get to walk simply in the light. Even when there’s a great joy in life, like the expectation of a new baby, the path forward often moves in and out of shadows. Sometimes we walk in a sparkling mid-day sun. Sometimes we push ourselves trough darkness, trough cracks in rock walls blocking the day out.
I wish to honour Tuija’s story, not sharing the details of it. It might be, though, that we all know our own pathways of sun and shadow. For me it has happened strongly on two occasions, each time when I’ve been pregnant. Both times someone close to me has been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, and we’ve found ourselves in the strange in-between space somewhere in the outskirts of death, at the same time expecting a new life. Joy, and fear. Happiness and pain. Both true, both strong, both unavoidable. Love and loss.
It’s strange how the coin sometimes falls on both sides at the same time. Both colours paint the landscape - the dark and the white. We live in a strange crossroads, in the world of changing light, blinking our eyes both in sunshine and in darkness, forced to both rejoice and mourn at the same time. But maybe life is most real when it’s most raw.
Tuija gave me full freedom in dyeing the weft colour. I wanted to try and bring the happier colour into this wrap. The light weft colours - natty, light blue and just a touch of rose pink - paint over the darker weft, changing the whole appearance of the warp. Suddenly it all becomes light, gentle and airy. Hopeful.
The reason to this is that I like to think that we people have - at least in some measure - a possibility to choose which colour is stronger in our lives. My father has this habit of saying that “whatever you choose to look at will grow”. We give power to things by concentrating on them. Sometimes it’s hard make the choice, but sometimes we maybe can turn our eyes to the light.
There’s always love in our lives.
Underneath, maybe, and sometimes it’s just a flickering flame.
But what if we tended the fire?
Or the flame of hope? Joy?
It might be that even sorrow changes face and becomes less frightening, that the flame becomes a comforting fire, discarding darkness.
I wanted this wrap to speak of the light. The one we might be able to choose. Of the fact that love will, eventually, overcome. I thought of the unexpected moments of joy that may happen in the darkest of days. The small bubbles of genuine happiness that sometimes come to us by surprise, all the more precious then. I’d like to claim that most often such moments are moments of love and relationship. A fire tended well.
The name of the wrap comes from the song Tuija sings to her daughter every evening. To me those two words - Amazing Grace - speak of the unexpected beauty meeting us in the shadow paths. Joy that comes to us freely given. Love we have not earned. Good gifts, given to us without our own accomplishments. That’s grace; love that’s not earned but freely received. Grace that can change even shadows to light.
To me it speaks of the gentleness of the Creator of life; how he loves to come trough, and how he knows the chaos of my life, my winding paths, how he gently watches my walk. Meeting me in every turn, wishing to surprise me, even when I feel lost.
Grace, freely given.