Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The art of crafting

This past Christmas I was rendered speechless by a powerful feeling of love that enveloped me as I walked into my client's room. I felt as if I'd been dropped into place of magic; so transformed was her previously sparse abode.

My client lives in a nursing home, her space is essentially a bedroom with a shared bathroom. As is the case in most of these environments the rooms tend to be spare and simply decorated. Pictures and seasonal cards are hung on walls and bulletin boards. Few items, labelled with the owner's identity, are displayed on dressers simply because as they say, "They have legs and tend to walk away". At this stage of life valuables tend to be held in safe keeping by family members and are rarely ever seen again by their former owner.

My client's daughter, visiting from a far off country, had spent the hours in the company of her elderly, physically compromised mother, decorating her room with found items. During walks with her wheelchair bound Mom she gathered boughs of evergreens.

"Mary" arranged them as you see in the picture. Hung on the branches were numerous, tiny, felted, solid, swirls of coloured balls wrapped in spun yarn, brought from her home miles away. Angels of loose, dry felt floated from pictures and lamps; the light shining through giving them an ethereal air. A star fashioned in the same manner provided a focal point on the make-shift Christmas tree.

Little felted pieces of art scattered here and there rewarded seeking eyes. Stones and winter berry bearing branches further transformed the room into a forest cabin retreat of calm, heart felt beauty.

When I raved about what I saw and felt, Mary simply responded, "I'm not an artist. I just do crafting. I'm a crafter." Which I took as a modest judgement of her ability, until a few weeks later when I came across Chapter 7 CREATIVE ART AS A BRIDGE in AWAKENING TO THE SPIRIT WORLD - The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation by Sandra Ingerman & Hank Wesselman. In it she talks about the art of crafting in Shamanic practice.

Her craft of choice is spinning. As she spins she meditates on the quality with which she wants the yarn to be filled such as: love, light, peace etc. While crocheting the yarn into a blanket or scarf for someone she focuses on the words of power that she's placing into each stitch of the item she's making. In this way her creation is filled with power and healing.

Now, I don't know if this is what the daughter meant by the word "crafter" but, this is what I felt when I walked in the room and spent time there with Mary and her mother surrounded by objects made with love and intention. Love, joy and peace were palpable.

Carol Proudfoot-Edgar calls this type of practice "soul-crafting". The main intention, she says is "to craft our souls through our hands - to create art and objects infused with spirit power."(pg. 147)

You can do this with anything you make, including food. Doing daily tasks while focusing on a healing intention creates the same effect.

1 comment:

  1. Nance, what a beautiful thought...that we can put the same love and beauty into every day things. And for strangers, too. As a volunteer from Project Linus, we make blankets for abused, sick etc, children. Though we seldom get to meet any of our 'kids', the love that the Blanketeers put in their work is amazing. Loy