Wednesday, September 24, 2014

God as Fabric Artist: A Poem for a New Season, a New Year

Yesterday I took mail to the post office, and it occurred to me that my mail is travelling further than I am these days.  I sent a package on its way to England and a letter off to Peru.  My Facebook feed is full of people who are having excellent adventures.  I feel a mild jealousy.

Tonight begins a different kind of adventure for our Jewish friends.  I feel a mild jealousy there, too, as I hear colleagues at work discussing food and traditions and more food.

But this year, I will be celebrating Rosh Hashanah in a different way.  My sister lives in a school district in Maryland that has the day as a school holiday, so my sister and nephew are coming down for a long week-end.  What fun!

I know that a Rosh Hashanah tradition is to eat apples dipped in honey to symbolize the wish for a sweet year ahead.  I will spend Rosh Hashanah embracing life in the way that only 8 year olds can.  I'll have the fervent hope that I can carry that spirit into the new year.

That exuberant spirit embodied in many 8 year olds reminds me of a poem that I wrote some years ago, a poem recently featured at the wonderfully cool, online journal Escape Into Life.  Since it's an online journal, they can do neat things with images, and my poems are paired with wonderful fabric art.  Go here to see the feature.

Long ago, at a Create in Me retreat, we talked about God the creator and the various Genesis stories and what they mean for our own creative processes.  And this poem emerged shortly thereafter.

It seems like a great poem for a new year and a new season.  I like that God in this poem keeps creating and keeps trying new approaches, which leads to wondrous new creations.  We are all wondrous creations, with a chance to make ourselves new every day.

When God Switched Fabrics

On the third day, God switched
fabrics. At first, God had followed
respectfully the lessons of the elders:
which fabrics could be used,
which fabrics couldn’t go together,
which decorative objects were suitable.
God stuck to the established patterns:
Flying Geese, Star of Bethlehem, and Log Cabin.

But on the third day, God declared,
“Enough.” God created the universe
with leftover scraps of velvet,
silk, leather, and denim. God stitched
it all tightly together with ribbon and lace.

When God created foliage,
God decided to design new patterns.
Even the elders exclaimed over God’s
grand visions.

When God began the creation of the animals,
God discovered the dimensions offered
by fabric dyes. God played with pigments
and new patterns appeared.

By the time God created humans,
God claimed the title of fabric artist.
God didn’t waste time
in the age-old debate of craft versus art.
God blazed new trails mixing fabric,
paint, clay, and metals to create
new forms yet again.


rbarenblat said...

Oh that poem is delightful!

Kristin said...

Thanks so much!

Wendy said...

this is so great in so many ways! thank you