Progress has been slow, but here’s the latest photo of the mystery scarf. We already know that the painter inspiring this piece is female, not American, and late 20th/early 21st century, in other words currently active. For your new clue you’ll have to wait until the end of this post!
I had hoped to be further along with the mystery scarf this week, but I’m happy to have been distracted finishing a new Rothko-inspired scarf to fill out my inventory after selling two of my scarves at last Sunday’s market! That kind of busy is always welcome! I also finished two new pairs of wrist warmers to bring with me tomorrow. Hopefully the cold weather will once again put buyers in the mood to acquire warm accessories!
I’ve been crocheting up to 6 hours a day but so far my hands are not complaining. In fact, with so many years of borderline repetitive stress injuries from desk jobs involving way too much keyboard use, I have always found that the action of crocheting is very natural for me and actually eases the tension that usually gathers in my neck and back, and drifts down through my arms, not to mention calming my mind and spirit! In spite of the intense concentration required to pull a loop through another loop and keep them exactly the same size row after row for hours, I find it very relaxing and comforting, a good kind of rhythmic repetition, like the rocking of a ship, or the underlying time signature of a musical piece. It also feels good to have something soft and warm contained inside my hands, that, when done, will ironically be outside my hands!
I recently commented to someone in the blogosphere that I wondered if there had ever been any scientific studies of the effects of handiwork in the human body – I know they’ve tested brain waves and heart rates during all kinds of activities, from athletics to trance states. I would imagine that during a long session of working on a scarf, my pulse probably slows down and my brain waves flatten as if I were in deep meditation…with a purring cat in my lap!
Like meditation, I can create this crocheting comfort zone almost anywhere and in any position – from sitting straight up to lying down, and it is one of the few things I do, other than sleep, shower or swim, without wearing my glasses. Not being able to see beyond the work in hand also adds to the blurry edges and quiet interiority of the work. I hear “you’re going to ruin your eyes” a lot when I enter this state of non-seeing and no longer require bright lighting to do it!
I knew a waiter once who taught me the professional trick of carrying a tray or other full receptacle without spilling it. Most people make the mistake of fixing their gaze on the item they are trying not to spill as they walk as if to steady it with their eyes; if you just walk naturally, with your eyes ahead of you in the middle distance, and your mind focused on balancing yourself and not the object, both you and the sloshing bowl of soup or hot coffee will arrive at their destination, as one, and intact.
I guess this lesson of non-seeing can be applied to almost anything we attempt to control in our lives, great and small, heavy and light. The less we apply our conscious will to an enterprise, and just flow into it, the better results we will get. I think we all have the ability to use our inner vision, that, like any faculty, it exists to be trained and developed, and will weaken and fail for lack of use. So, when you attempt to guess the artist, I would advise you to look inside and feel the answer, rather than try to apply your wits to solving the puzzle. The work of the painter in question is very much about the world of inner feelings and visions! And that is this week’s clue. Good luck!