jude hill spirit cloth


The photo is blurry.  As imagining can sometimes be.  Maybe needs to be.  Always is.  Elusive.  Always flowing.  Just going.

Building starts small.  I love the sheer moon, like looking through a time window.  Some sort of layer of perspective.  Not stitched, just a place keeper for now.  A yesterday.  And a tomorrow.  Both.  Held by nothing.  That is so comforting.

Patch it with scraps of self (awareness)

What is it that encourages us to imagine new worlds? Not money methinks.  I posted on Instagram yesterday.  I went to sleep and woke up asking the same question.

I feel better.  I have named my stress.  The stress of reconsidering all things that suddenly descended upon me, in The Year That I Became Older.   Did you know I wrote a book... The year I became Old...?   Years back.   I did not publish it.   I read it to myself.   Out loud.   When everyone is sleeping.

The Year I Got Old.  Could it be that far back? 2014?

I found this which I once published in a blog post:

this piece (of self) is still here

Forming self


what form can you use for self?

And then to see, I pasted the text here, where it would link to the glossary...to see which words would be highlighted, because this is part of my process of reconsidering. 

Just like it is sometimes difficult to simplify  the expression of what you do,  it is even harder to express one's sense of self  as something tangible.  To be shared. It may be quite important then, I have been thinking.  To think of ones work as oneself.  To shape it into a simple understandable form.  And still let it remain personal.  To have the patience to let the unique emerge. Evolve.  Shed its false skin.

I have chosen the basket.  I have chosen it for many obvious reasons. Obvious to me.  And then some reasons that are still finding reason.  But mostly I have chosen it because I would like to  think of myself as a vessel.  Something ancient, simple, useful.  I might want others to understand that.  Respect that.  Know it as not more than that.

I was thinking a lot about  language.  Symbols.  How we might adopt a common language system to communicate. But also how we might lose our Selves in it.  How often that happens. Just last night in what seemed like a dream I screamed

"Rescue me,  from the Sameness..."

In the year that I became old I realized that finding self is not is not something you learn from others.  It is not about approval.  (even your own)  It is a lonely journey into your own heart.  It can hurt (even to know).  It can leave you penniless. It might never end.  But it might very well be worth everything to give form to it.  And it starts by talking to yourself.  Listening.  It's almost a foreign language when you begin.  Perhaps because it hasn't been the one you have been so used to using for so long.

I've leaned way in.  I am on my way outward.

Searching for the thread that runs through it.


  1. Laura

    I love to think about Reconsidering. It’s a good thing to do. Often.
    Naming stress is to grasp it. I’ve yet to name mine. Maybe I must write a book? Haha

  2. Susana Gustavson Crowley

    The older I get, chronologically, the smaller I feel. and it doesn’t bother me. It feels kind of like it’s a good thing.

  3. Caro

    “It is a lonely journey into your own heart.”
    I so get it! Not always easy but so right and so full and so yes and so love.

  4. New worlds… I think it’s because it’s possible and lets us explore possibilities. “What if?” 🙂

    To think of ones work as self… that’s a very interesting consideration. It’s not something I think I could separate.

    • jude

      yes! what if, as simple as that.

      when we separate self from art, that is when it is not art. so I guess I finally defined art for my self , selves

  5. My mind is a tornado of thoughts bumping into each other, sometimes flung out, mostly just spinning and bumping.

    I was surprised that “basket” wasn’t linked to your glossary.

    I am not old. I don’t know why. I’m not young, either. I’m almost 70. I’d love to be a wise old woman, but I’m certainly not there yet (not sure I’ll ever get to the wise part). I think you’re right about it being a mental shift. Plus aging is related to time and, over simplistically put, I don’t believe in time. (It’s just a way of understanding this realm.) But that idea (age’s relationship to time) is one of those still being whipped around in the tornado.

    You and Grace always make me think.

    • jude

      I still have a long way to go with the glossary, some things are hard to define, or redefine…
      I believe in time, it is one of those things that cannot be defined yet it is so defining. it is forever.

  6. Lisa Thomson

    This is incredibly touching. When you said: ” I realized that finding self is not is not something you learn from others. It is not about approval. (even your own) It is a lonely journey into your own heart. ” I just froze and my heart beat a bit louder.

  7. sharon

    time rescues us from the sameness. i find comfort in constant change. i like knowing it’s beyond my control. i remember thinking when i was a 3rd grader that 6th graders were so OLD. it seemed utterly NOT possible to me that i could ever be one of them…

  8. Wyonne

    I turned 80 this year. never thought of getting or being old until 75. my mother is in a nursing home and will turn 99 April 13. still going mind good but hates living there. I will not be concerned if I dress too young or how to wear gray hair etc. some days are young and some days are old I like young more

    • jude

      my sense of old is less about body frailty or looks or anything like that. It has to do with some kind of mental shift, and I wonder if I imagine it or it is really happening.

  9. CJ

    I’m hurtling old but my best friend is already old and together we need a new home settlement but we don’t know where. It’s making me more tired and old with a full mind of what ifs. Maybe it will appear to him and I soon but will I be then settled or just older. Wonder if Janet’s island is full, that read devine!

  10. Alice

    To my mine, “old” is a finite state, a sameness from which no rescue is possible. “Older” is filled with possibilities. We’ve all been growing older since the moment of conception. Think of all the changes you’ve already experienced, the growth, the new ways of seeing, doing, thinking. The possibility for escape from sameness is ours every moment we are growing older, maybe not in the same ways we did in the past, but imagination and creativity can provide new ways. We need no rescue from sameness, we can escape if we choose.

  11. Marti

    Patience to let things be: I wrote of this in my comment on grace’s blog post today. The patience referred to how I work with cloth, dyeing cloth, but it also speaks to my 74th year. A quiet time, a time of going inward as has been so much of my daily life since I turned 70. Upheavals, well yes, we all face them as well as questions. How I respond to them is the inner dialog that I hold dear for I have found strength that I did not know I had. I have also found less tolerance for what is superficial and that sounds pompous. What I mean by these words is that the simple daily joys that I started finding when the chatter in my mind lessened, have become so much more real and important in my life.

  12. I love the glyphs on top of the photo. And glad you have named your stress. Your process of paste-ing the text here, and seeing the links pop up to the glossary – it’s like listening to yourself! Basket should be there in the glossary, I think. Basket says so much.

  13. Jody Lund

    There is so much to consider in this post.
    “Rescue me, from the Sameness…” really hits home as I grapple with the reality that this is the year I became old.

    Thank you for sharing this!

  14. Janet Wright

    In January, I reached the age of 76–I don’t feel old–until I realize how many of the people –friends and others–I know–never got this privilege. but then –friends seem to be getting ill–seriously ill—die–
    and then I feel old. So–I live on 5 acres in the forest –on an island –in Wash. State–I think today–I will go out and forage for miner’s lettuce, dandelion greens and make a rejuvenating salad and than God for new growth–at any age. Head high–Heart open–says Pluto the Dog on line.

  15. how to comment, i want to add something (as it is such an interesting post, questioning just about everything, everything that matters on an existential level concerning aging)
    and all that springs to mind seems….pretentious and self-applauding, and yet i seem to have said too much already,
    hahahahaha, i feel like laughing out loud at myself,
    ‘rescue me from the sameness’ or simply ‘rescue me’……

  16. Amy

    As always, there is a lot to digest in this post. What strikes me most, though, is that I’ve been feeling that this is the year that I got old. And if I’ve done the math right, your year was at age 63, which is where I am now. And it’s sort of a shock, and I’m also sort of okay with it, but I feel (culturally) like I’m not supposed to be okay with it, should not “give in” to age. And I feel being useful, being of service, being quiet, is really where I am. I certainly feel a frailty that is new and informs most any life choice.

  17. deemallon

    “Something ancient, simple, useful.” YES! Beautiful testimony about — I was gonna say, “the artist’s journey” but it’s really the journey of self, isn’t it?

    Lately, I don’t glue my collages down. So the “work” becomes the picture and not the artifact. This is especially true when I then double expose the picture. I’m still not sure how I feel about this. Hard to shed idea that it’s cheating. Also, what to DO With all those photos?

    • jude

      I like it. Getting away from thingness. A reminder that form is temporary. I think we might reconsider what is cheating and who is getting cheated.

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