jude hill spirit cloth

not quite

the garden in May

Never quite there.  I had this in my mind all weekend.  Mostly because of how things have been going for me. But then after talking to my son who works so hard and is so tired and is still trying to figure out the best path forward.  It was comforting in some way to know that  such frustration might span generations and that it's not just that I am getting old.  Life is simple really.  It  is just  complicated.

We did not get to the raised bed this weekend.  It will sit between this compost bin (there are several more to move.  I work with a staged process)  and the existing bed which kind of hangs off the hill.   On the slope beyond we will terrace a bit but grow local plants.  I think more and more about that and less and less about organized food growing.  Wild greens and fruit trees I think, herbs, flowers for bees , berries for birds, dye plants.  Tomatoes, peppers  and Japanese eggplant on the deck.   Fencing might wait till next year.

That dying cedar, we meant to remove that  but there are so many birds in it right now, waiting till fall when we will clear some small stuff for better views through the forest and make some paths.

three spring fragments

I almost want to focus on the unfinished.  Let them be as they are.  I have always loved the unfinished.  I live in them.   Story is never finished really.   What if finished is simply time to rest, to go, move on? And the beauty in that.

it's been a while since I wore rings... especially with all the hand washing going on.

This was the photo banner for Spirit Cloth 101.  In the summer of 2012.  Photo from much earlier than that.  ( hysterical that I then was already in review mode and talking about getting old. )  I have begun my final review, my own challenge to organize a lifetime of cloth making.   First I will take a new picture of my older hands.


  1. Acey

    this makes me think about Louis Bourgeois. Some of the portraits of her hands in later years are incredibly inspiring and moving to me.

    • jude

      I remember my father told me hands and shoes are the most difficult to draw. I think I was about 8. Maybe I should have a try.

  2. Hilde

    a dying, and even a dead tree carries more life in it then when it is alive…I have an elder tree that is dying for more then 10 years now, It’s wonderful to see the slow transformation.

  3. cednie

    My son had a vegan bakery but closed it permanently due to the pandemic. I think he wanted out anyway. He is taking a break. Simple and complicated, yes.

  4. we can never “finish” nature. or anything really. i have so many supposedly unfinished pieces here I start to see them as “finished”-at least by me. I actually am going to be selling some of them as bases for others to “finish” -haha.
    and hands…i was just at the dermatologist to have some odd spots frozen off and i told her i now have the hands and arms of my grandfather as I remember them sitting on his lap as a child. he was also a freckled redhead too and there were too many spots to count- although i always tried until we lost count and i slid off his lap, the two of us giggling ourselves silly! Yay for old hands…and their stories!

    • jude

      Yeah, i enjoy offering bases, there is a kind of sharing in it. Got a stack here…
      I have my mother’s veiny arthritic hands. My dad’s side had the red hair and freckles.

  5. you get enough rain then, to sustain your wilder gardening. That’s what i’d dreamed of doing here, but
    to get enough water to them, until they can establish themselves made me let go of that. i need at least
    one other lifetime here to understand reciprocal growing

    • jude

      Yes, maybe more than enough rain, tho they predict a drier than normal summer. i guess what grows wil grow. Many edible greens here. Fruit trees would be great. But fungus frim the dampness, I need to understand. Berries, easy.

  6. one of the best things about being an artist is we get to work til we die, my friend & mentor in glass engraving Anne Dybka worked in her studio til she went totally blind & died a few months later at 85, in the last 5 years of her life she worked by feel with a powerful magnifying lens and did some of her most beautiful work. I find that very inspiring, we would often talk about posterity and what we leave behind…

  7. warning: deet eat tomatoes (experience speaking, even in the suburbs…deer. Pretty but deadly). We always fence ours in our front suburban yard (they get wilt in the backyard, we think from the maple. Who knows. That stuff makes me crazy).

    • jude

      I know you meant deer. They did not eat all of mine last year. After I began my “pee” regimen around the area. And growing on the deck, which is fenced in more or less, that works fine. really it’s the groundhogs around here that are doing the most damage.

  8. Spirit Cloth 101 was the compost that got my own stitching life growing in new and totally unexpected ways … I can see how turning it over to bring the best bits to the surface makes great good sense … with “what if” as your metaphorical pitchfork

  9. Jen NyBlom

    yep, “complicated”….AND simple.
    I’ve been spending all my time working outside, digging, moving, planting…my heart is HAPPY! (but my body hurts–ha!) Love the compost pile! & the rose on the stitching xoxox

  10. Complicated, fragile, tired…all words I find myself using a lot right now. It does span generations. Simple, it can be. The garden plans are great…but then mine are the same. 🙂 Found baby peaches yesterday and the strawberries are starting to form.

  11. Vi

    Something’s are just true! Life is simple. It’s just complicated. That brought a smile to my face. No matter which part of the world you live in, whatever be the life you have carved out…those two sentences just are so true! Here I sit in India…and I smile as I read those two lines.
    It is these simple smiles of recognition and acknowledgement which connect us all…. somehow.

  12. Caro

    Life is simple really. Its just complicated…..
    Had to laugh out loud because its so true!!!
    I felt butterflys in my stomach thinking what that really means for me.
    Thank you for that.
    I love your gardening ideas and your stitched homes

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