Wednesday, February 13, 2013


It can be hard to keep going, slog on, at whatever it is I am supposed to be doing. Sometimes, I need to take a day out to recharge.

dybegay 006

I went to a gallery opening and lecture of the tapestries of DY Begay. Her talk was a quiet affirmation of why she weaves, her love of the area in which she lives, and of her family and heritage of sheep, dyeing and weaving.

Her work is contemporary, but in the Navajo style of weaving, and based in the traditions of her grandmothers' weaving.

As she spoke, she wove the connections of her family, her place and her people into the narrative, giving us a glimpse of her sources of inspiration, and the familial connections that infuse her work: sometimes it's a comment made by a child or family member that steers the design or the name of the piece, sometimes it's a reference to a traditional pattern or a work based on the colors of the land, dyed from the plants of the land.

It was a quietly revealing and inspiring talk given by a woman who knows her true place, and her value, along the continuum of weavers, mothers, Dine, and desert dwellers.

Then we had dinner, and I listened to a friend, a musician, who spoke of her realization, after years and years of playing professionally, in orchestras, and quartets, having earned advanced degrees in music, that she is truly good at what she does, that she can lead a section in the orchestra, and knows the underlying feeling of how a piece should be played, not just how to hit the notes, and bang out music.

What a gift to know these people, to listen to them, and reflect with them on how, through years of effort, they have attained a measure of competence, and grace in that competence: no need to trumpet or proclaim, just quiet acceptance of the value of long practice, of deep understanding, of infusing a life with a certain perspective, a certain voice, if you will, through all the competing, chattering noise.

A day away, a conversation, a week away, a long car trip, a ride in that skinny tube we call an airplane, these can be useful times of reflection, whether in conversation with like minds, or in quiet. They help recharge, help remind me why I am doing what I do.

Also? Cookies!
marin cookies

Now, back to work!


Blogger Charlene said...

Nice segue!

4:44 PM  

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