Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gifts from the Sea


I'm back in Salem, again...but I still miss my Alaskan home. I don't miss the black ice that caused me to suddenly swoosh to the ground and break and dislocate my wrist, I don't miss the repercussions of surgery and healing and I don't miss the challenges of Winter weather!

But oh, how I do miss my beloved parents, my Alaskan family, and the beauty of a place that will always connect to my heart strings.

I think of all of my special memories of walking on my Alaskan beach and treasuring the small gifts that I have found over the years on the sand. I lay them on dresser tops, in bowls, and in baskets. But I've also discovered that making wall hangings out of 'found' materials is a wonderful way to save and display those 'gifts from the sea', and a way to bring them back into me... and my life, here in Oregon, once again.

As Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote in her book Gift from the Sea
When one is out of touch with oneself, one cannot touch others.

And everything we collect and save helps us get in touch with who we truly are. When I am disappointed in myself, or my hands, or even my heart...I think of her quote:

After all, I don't see why I am always asking for private, individual, selfish miracles when every year there are miracles like white dogwood.....

I know, deep inside, that I need to touch my inner self, my core, and my true nature first! So.....I am already deep in fabric and thread. Comforted on all sides by soft batting and the gentle hum of my sewing machine. And I still feel blessed...it's such a gift to have the use of two arms, two wrists, two hands, once more! Each and every movement feels like a miracle....no matter what!

My hand might be stiff, it might ache, my scar area may be hyper sensitive to the touch of even the brushing against of it by my sleeve fabric, and this precious left one might not quite work as I wish it did..however.....

I am home to where I can feel me, and not always others, again.
I sew, I quilt, I collect, and I create. I am making up for time and space. From the sea, from my pockets, from my heart. I am relaxing back into becoming me again.

shown above:
some lovely ocean themed batiks, free motion quilting, and some Alaskan gifts from the sea

dear all that is, and ever will be:
thank you for my lovely gifts!
love Michele

7 comments:

  1. I really need to read Gift from the Sea again. Thanks for reminding me of Lindbergh lovely poetic language. I can't find my copy, but will put it on my library list or order a new one.

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  2. Welcome home Michele. I've been offline for a few weeks and have not kept up with my blog or blog reading... I'm glad to hear your wrist is healing. Having been through a similar experience with my ankle, I emphasize with what you're going through.

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  3. I have that book!

    Welcome back, and do take it easy and slow. Take care of you.

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  4. I'm glad you're safely home. Gifts from and of the sea are always so soothing to me.

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  5. Happy to re-connect with you in a shared love. The lure of the fabric, the hum of the machine, the odd bits of thread and fabric clinging to me..been missing it and you. Hugs, Finn

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  6. I've also been out of the loop for what feels like a long time. Just dippin' my toes (fingers?) back in the water today after a push from Finn who received a push from you as I understand it. We have to keep holding hands here in blogland, don't we? Use the buddy system so no-one gets lost along the way.

    I'm so gald your hand is now functional again and that, for the time being anyway, your life is calmer. What a comfort to know that we can come back after an absence and our friends are still there. :- )

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.