High quality mercericed cotton
Hand dyed by Paradisaea
Fall / Winter 2017-2018
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear,
but the triumph over it."
- Nelson Mandela
“Mum, I'll climb a bit higher!"
“No you won't. Come down."
“I won’t! I want to climb! I can, I know I can!"
“I bet you can. Now come down."
“No! See, I know what I’m doing. I won’t fall. "
“How can you be so sure?"
“I just know. See? It’s not hard."
And then he climbed higher, unheeding of my commands, so high that I couldn’t reach him at all from the ground. I stood there with the baby wrapped to me, utterly unable to climb after him, even if he’d get into trouble up there. So I stood and stared as my four year old superhero tested his strengths in the old pine tree.
Afterwards it felt like a significant moment; something like a change in the game.
He is becoming bigger. He is becoming ever more himself; finding things inside of himself, learning what it means to be him. Until now I’ve had quite a lot of control over his choices. Now, it appears, he challenges us both - himself and me - on a regular basis.
Our firstborn is what could be called a daredevil. He was one year old, had just gotten his first four-wheeled bicycle, when he attempted to do bicycle trial tricks with it (jumping down some stairs on purpose with the bike). He has always, by nature, been drawn to things that give him a “thrill”. I can see the challenge in his eyes, but it seems that he enjoys tackling the fear.
I’ve had to learn to live with this trait of him. Sometimes I’ve wished he was just a bit more timid; like, understanding that he does need to learn to swim first before jumping in the deep end. Right now it’s my job to keep him safe and sometimes I wish he wouldn’t keep me so busy.
The incident with the pine tree showed me something, though.
He is growing. We still have, hopefully, many years ahead of us like this, him being close to us, us guiding him onward. Seeing him push his limits and become somehow more… defined as himself has however made me realise that the day is approaching each morning - the day when he’ll take off and go lead his own life.
It has felt very sobering to understand that. To realize that our job primarily is to help him become himself, so strong inside of his own heart that he can do that - go live his own life.
I want him to learn to climb.
I want to be left on the ground, watching him reach the skies.
And therefore I need to honour his adventurousness. I cannot quench that flame in him. He will need that courage one day.
This thought has been with me for a while now: I am raising my children up to live in a world that is not always safe. It is possible to fall from the tree. I have a choice, though; either to teach them to fear and keep them on the ground or teach them to reach higher, fighting their fears.
For a while I’ve wanted to do a colourway that would speak of all this; of the almost daunting task of bringing up children who would have wings to fly, strength to climb, hearts to fight. It’s a scary business; letting them fly to a world that challenges them. And it’s scary to be the person who should teach them how to do it.
I believe each child is created to this world with a purpose. The significance of each child is vast, indescribable; they all have a calling, something hidden in their uniqueness, in the pattern of their being. To find that specific something is the greatest challenge they’ll face; to learn the truth about themselves and about what it means for the world.
To help them get there is the greatest challenge of parenthood.
I’m watching him climb higher, understanding how little of him I own. He belongs to himself, and who knows what kind of a future awaits him. These children of ours, they’re called into great things. Who knows if one of them will change the world?
They just might
if we let them climb.
This colourway is called “Valor”. The word literally stands for “great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle”.
It will be high quality mercerized Egyptian cotton. The idea for this has been with me for almost half a year now; finding the right colours hasn’t been very easy. I wanted to find something that would show the sharp contrast between fear and courage, between light and darkness, between a challenge and the choice to overcome it. The darker blues fade to bright turquoises and whites, symbolizing hope in the face of fears. The bright flashes of golden ivory speak to me of courage; the flame in the mind of the child when he or she reaches to the next branch.
Valor is scheduled to be dyed at the end of October, woven in November.
A part of this warp is already spoken for. For more information about the process, please, do follow Paradisaea on Facebook and join Paradisaea's community group in Facebook. Possible available wraps or semi-custom slots are offered for sale in the community group.
The prices for the Valor pieces start from around 250 € / meter (incl. EU VAT), including undyed EC cotton weft. Weft upgrades are possible.