Just how it has been since I moved here

Not so long ago, this was just my porch.  A rusty old lantern, a watering can from Home Depot. A carved sunflower from Indonesia and plans to paint the house red. In the context of the day, another story.  One we might share.

a problem solved, just one of many

Story could be a telling for teaching or learning.  But story's unutterable impact has a lot to do with something shared before the story gets told.  At least I am thinking about that.  You know, as if we might be characters in the same story.  Riding on the thread that runs through it. But still being ourselves. In it.

I still want to call this The Problem Solver.  story

writing what I see, as I go. one thought in front of anotherI am going to talk about the bleach discharge process in another post, because I have some new information to add and I can talk about it all in detail as a focus. Let me continue with story then.  look speak do

So now I go back to the idea, that I think you might get a feeling from what I created, something familiar, without me explaining it so fully.  That the story is common in some unspoken way. The form it has taken. And the thread that runs though it.

This is what I have come to call the Poetry of Process.


  1. Jude, Thank you for being so open. Your story here helped me put the current difficult things of my life in perspective. “I’m a piece of the puzzle. I can fit here”. And your words about natural order, to accept it as the solution.
    Also about other people’s story. I’m starting to be aware that I’m often stepping into someone else’s story, when they ask me to help them with something. And then the consequence is that my own things that are important to me aren’t done. Such as making cloth, painting, gardening etc.

    • jude

      We all have the same story then, on some un- nameable form, in a way, the thread that runs through it, it is a comfort to know it.

  2. Alison TS

    wow this was deep, its been running around in my mind since last night. The getting lost in someone else’s story and perspective. Looking at things with new eyes… a different perspective. It made me think about the liminal space where the energy builds up. The space between thought and action. Slightly unsettled. Halfway to going. The cat on my lap is settled then she makes the decision to move and stays in this semi alert state, then she goes. I too need to look back over my unfinished pieces (of whatever) and look at them with new eyes. And find my own voice

    • jude

      looking again can change everything, it should I think, bring it into the present. I would love to keep a record of how that happens, just to see the form the “presence” takes . over time.

  3. When I was an art student back in the late 1980’s I asked the wonderfully inspiring glass artist Dana Zamecnikova where she drew the inspiration for her work.
    & her answer has stayed with me ever since…
    “Where else can you put all the hopes, joys and sorrows in life
    but in your art?”

  4. I’m just as confused as ever . . . maybe. I’m kind of ‘thinking on paper’ (keyboard) here.
    I’ve always been a storyteller. As small children, when we were supposed to go to sleep, my brother and sister would come to me for a story. No doubt, those made up tales reflected in some fantastical manner what had happened to me/us that day. I totally get that our creative work reflects our lives. For me, it can’t not and I’m pretty sure that’s true for everyone.
    I guess it’s my connection of the word “story” to “tales” that confuses me. The word is so much EVERYWHERE these days. Instagram and Facebook are always asking me to ‘add to my story,’ except that on social media it too often tends to be a constructed, virtual phenomenon–life experienced for and through a lens, rather than directly. I know this discussion is not about that false front story, but it tends to confuse the issue.
    The most clarity foe me comes from “Don’t look for it, look at it.” Yes, yes, yes!
    Because our story IS our life, BEING LIVED, and our creative work can’t not reflect our life any more than we can not breathe. We can make a particular story with our work, but we don’t need to. We can even look for a story, but if we find one, it’s likely not the same as “our story.” So we need to look at our work and LET IT TELL the story (which may not be a whole story). And if others are told the same story, it is the resonance of being human.
    So, ultimately, we really don’t have to THINK about story as we create. It will be there whether or not we do, BUT if we do reflect and see what our work has to say to and about us as we are making it is possible to enhance and make clearer (to ourselves, at least) what our story is. It’s a kind of meditation!!

    Did I get it?

    • jude

      You don’t sound confused.
      Just in the middle of thought catching.
      I suppose I am always just explaining my process here. Here ,how I use the moment, looking at, being there, and using that to continue as a path to new form. Somehow the form itself might speak of journey. without saying. And others , however it happens, might find a thread in it. Without the saying.
      What interests me at this point in time, is how the moments in time captured in words become a form in themselves.

  5. Jude~ This was a truly lovely explanation of how you work. I was especially fascinated as to what part of the story came from cutting the feet off a bit…and then adding them back. You are indeed a grand storyteller, however you choose to do that. xo

  6. I find this post on story very profound, and actually healing. I write a lot – journaling, taking notes – but it seems very separate from my making. This gives me hope that it can be integrated. And that my story is already there, i loved hearing this. Story has always seemed foreign and inaccessible to me, something for people who are more articulate and can put things together coherently. But “we all have it.” I’ll remember this.

    • jude

      I am very interested in this technique, the written list, almost poetry, it has become increasingly important and I will make a page for it. I can sense the story in you.

  7. I just did a training recently about storytelling/collecting children’s stories. Was reminded that we are originally oral story tellers. That the oral comes first. So we are all storytellers, have our own stories, need to tell stories, need to hear them…and need to practice telling stories. Part of being human. This is a very beautiful post.

    • jude

      we don’t need to look far. the story is right there.
      I laughed to myself thinking about how many folks I have known seemed to hide in someone else’s story, me included.
      Part of being human too I guess. and another story.

      • carroleb

        A wonder filled post.
        Caught in the act of being…how to capture that fleeting moment in cloth. Very magical.
        I’m feeling that for me to start telling my story in cloth, I would need small sketch scraps. I think my failure to understand the storytelling cloth earlier was that I attempted to tell too much at once.

  8. jeri

    I really enjoyed hearing your story for this piece.
    I never understood that there was story behind the creation of things. It was just something I had to do and I often questioned why did I have to create, what was the point?
    But you have given me pause and now I want to unravel the story behind what/how/why I create. The thought of it takes me on a new journey to a deeper level. So thank you for telling your story, it’s going to help me find mine.

    • jude

      this is a new technique I have begun to use, recording in sentences, what I see, think. it helps me see my relationship to the making. It can just as easily be something like:

      I am making a quilt
      It helps me remember where the scraps came from.
      It will keep me warm

      story is just the going

  9. sharon

    your actual voice embodies your thoughts as beautifully as your written words and your patchwork. the three woven together is a heightened experience. for me, accepting the natural order of things without complaining or explaining is a brilliant soulution, it gives me eyes that see clearly. and a thankful heart. x

    • Sharon~ I see the complaining or explaining as a part of the process, helping one go from point to another, part of the story map…recognizing all of it, and then the acceptance comes.
      I love how we all hear the same words, see the same pictures and yet, we all come to our own understanding…one that is needed for us in that moment.
      The beauty of art and story 🙂

  10. Pam S.

    Love how you can express yourself through cloth and stitch, and your telling is like your diary 💙 thank you for sharing your thoughts Jude!
    Stay Warm 🪵🔥

  11. Jen

    You tell beautiful stories, Jude.
    Just the words from your 2nd talk here, together with your illustration…voila’!
    There’s a book.

    I could listen, watch, feel, understand, absorb every day.

    (I, too, talk aloud to myself while I work…does Soul-O look at you, wondering …? Mine do, ha!)

    • jude

      It is interesting how recording the process this way, generates a kind of narrative. A lot of my talking was silent for so long, the habit of out loud is so helpful.
      He seems to listen sometimes. Cocks his head.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *