both after and before the storm

Laurel Kubby wearing Susan Mattison

It’s freaky calm here, considering.  Six fat PDFs went out to about 25 people today, lotsa things going out and coming back in. There are still minor standardization errors being found, caps after colons or no caps, purple commas showing up, backwards quote marks here or there. Extra space! No space! There are a few more shots we want to place, a couple more illos. Quotes are dripping off of the thing; beautiful words from painters and architects and physicists and mathematicians. Cath Thomas added more. A favorite:

“I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music.”   Joan Miro

Which of course makes me think of Jean Power, and smile.

It rained all night last night, a sweet soft hard rain, soaking deep into the ground, washing the grapefruit and tangerines on the trees. I went to see Larry, it being Friday, and I told him, “I’m a little scared, in a night-before kind of way, no one does this, what I’m doing.” And he put me into the deepest needle-trance I have ever entered; I went directly to the Meadow where nothing changes, and little matters. I couldn’t even feel my body, I was so completely at sea, at peace. It’s sweet of him to do what he does, and do it so well. I didn’t even know he existed six months ago; now I am different. It takes so little to trip me into peace now.

So much has changed for me during the course of this project. I am light as a feather. There is nothing left to sort in my sock drawers. I don’t have any lingering stuff left to worry about. Can you imagine? I didn’t think these days ever came. And maybe it’s temporary. But I know that I’m telling the truth when I say that no human being has ever been happier, or felt better, or stronger, or more exposed than I do right now. And I know that no one has ever tried harder to do a good job. I mean, certainly people have DONE better jobs. I’ve had to learn some things from scratch to do this, and as I said before it has highlighted my weaknesses as well as my strengths. But no one has ever tried harder. I know that for sure.

This is really the first time in my life that I’ve tried this hard. It isn’t just making the book, it’s a lot more than that. It’s how it’s been done. How open it’s been. How it’s involved so many others, without prejudice, you know- anyone who wanted to be involved and do good work and not worry about what they were getting in return. How I’ve integrated criticism. I came across a great quote that I think defines this project, and it’s from Harry Truman. He said,

“It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been able to take proper time to really fully think about each of the people, one by one, who have given and trusted and helped and written and beaded and drawn and reviewed and talked and iterated with me. I hope to spend that time in the next week, as I finish writing the Team pages.

It will be lovely to take time in general to think. And of course to BEAD. So many ideas are presented in our work that even we have not taken the time to flesh out; we wanted to give them more than we wanted to hoard them, if you know what I mean. We didn’t hold anything back.

Photo:  Two Fortuneteller Bangles; photo by Kate. Laurel Kubby’s piece is wearing Susan Mattison’s like a little Missoni coat. Susan may or may not know that Missoni was our FIRST inspiration for this book. Just another cosmic coincidence.

4 thoughts on “both after and before the storm

  1. No, I didn’t know about the Missoni connection! There are no coincidences. It is what was planned all along! What a glorious ride that is now leaping into full bloom!

    • We will have to talk about it when we are beading together in Chicago. Yes, Missoni, a HUGE influence- they have always been beloved byboth Dustin and I, and when they did the collection for Target (which is moderately undignified but was really awesome) we fell into their zigzags and colours like into a lover’s arms. I could go on!

      I also have a wonderful quote from a chevron Kleenex box that came out at the same time as (and I KNOW IN HOMAGE TO) the Missonitarget thang.

  2. maybe you will understand what the French mean with ‘the calm before the storm… ‘ I am quite sure this saying is also used in English?

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