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Painting a New Life

Musings on a Cold and Rainy Day

The Most Important Love of All

“The most important love of all is the love we give to ourselves.”

It was one of those rare gray and rainy days in Phoenix. I would have relished the quietness and softness of it all had I not felt so gray and sick myself. The weather seemed to mirror both my physical and emotional state. As the day worn on the rain turned to pea sized hail bouncing off the pavers in our backyard. It was magical and wondrous sitting by the fire surrounded by those I love, but I couldn’t relax into it. My body ached and my head hurt. I just wasn’t well. I needed comfort and nothing around me was quite “it.” As usual I was covered in a blanket and hugging a pillow to my chest. In spite of feeling ill I “should” have been comforted, but I wasn’t. I needed something that I had yet to identify.

The following day was unusually cold. I still felt ill and decided to go for a Covid test just to be sure. Dressed in my comfy jeans and a sweatshirt I braved the cold. Somehow, I felt better being outside in spite of the chill in the air. The air felt fresher than being indoors and there was something in me that whispered a message, but I couldn’t quite make out what it was. I had cancelled all of my appointments for the week to give myself the space to rest and get well so I arrived home to nothing in particular. Nothing I had to do. I was free to take care of myself.

One thing that helps me tremendously is writing. When I feel at loose ends, writing opens the doorway to all that lies beneath the surface and my thoughts pour out onto the page for me to see. Like painting, writing can reveal emotions and truths that I can’t access with my conscious mind. So faced with this space to do nothing, I chose to do a brief meditation and write. What was this restlessness and discomfort? What was it trying to tell me about myself? I am clearly not comfortable doing nothing or taking things slowly. My pattern is to work madly until I crash and then rest enough to get up and start it all over again. But in the past few months that pattern has broken down completely. I can no longer live like that, nor do I want to. I’m creating something new.

"Force of Nature" Velvet Blanket

The grayness, the cold, feeling ill and exhausted and achy should have been great excuses to do nothing and feel comfortable in that, but there was something missing. I sat up in my loft, on my bed, surrounded by all of the pillows I had made. They were stacked up next to fabrics ready to be created into throws, filling the loft. There sat one new throw I had made, my first velvet and faux fur blanket. It was folded and stored away, waiting like all the other pieces to find their new homes.

After gifting myself with my own Bubbe Pillow not long ago and experiencing the impact of that on my everyday life, the impetus to remove that luxurious blanket from its storage bag and wrap myself up in it, was almost automatic. I knew what I wanted and needed and this time it was easier to give it to myself.

My first blanket was designed from one of my paintings entitled "Force of Nature," so fitting for a day when the sky was pouring down its tears and cleansing the earth. Maybe it’s just because I have a direct connection with the images I’ve created, but having that wrapped around me felt like nature herself was reaching out to comfort me. I know it sounds like I’m exaggerating to make a point, but honestly, as a highly sensitive person, that is how I experience the objects around me. I know how to use the pieces I make because I know the intention that went into making them.

I am a very tactile person. The physical feel of things is important to my experience of them. Since childhood my association with physical comfort is one of safety and security. Not only did that inspire me to make my first pillows, it also evolved into creating throw blankets as well. I wanted the feeling of being enveloped in something that felt like love. I needed to create safety for myself. So when I felt that velvet blanket all around me on that cold and gray day, my body relaxed. I felt safe and secure. I felt all the love that I put into making that piece. I knew, even just for a few moments, that I was going to be OK.

My fabric blankets and pillows can be found on my website here.

If you are interested in a velvet/fur blanket please contact me. Each one is made to order, a true heirloom to pass down from generation to generation. Velvet pillows are also available upon request.



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