It’s still about the Container

It started like this- about six weeks ago, I realized I was missing something. It was a red string from a dear friend that always hugged a photo in my bathroom. In a past blog, I explained the importance of the red string to ward off the evil eye. I looked everywhere for my red string, could not find it, and reluctantly replaced it with a turtle necklace from the idea that “it’s turtle all the way down”. Not that the red string and a turtle mean the same thing, they don’t, but for me, it was having something on my photo to make me stop and be aware.

Then I went to show someone one of my favorite embroideries of me with my kids that usually sits on my book case and it wasn’t there. I looked everywhere over and around the bookcase on every single shelf hoping to find it. When I didn’t, I wondered if it was possible I had taken it as a sample of my work to a talk and left it there? I searched every one of my bags and through all of my supply shelves. I asked my daughter if by chance I had given it to her and then I reluctantly gave up any hope of finding it and decided my lesson was to simply be able to let it go.

Last week I got dressed for a special event and reached for my favorite necklace and could not find it. I was heart broken. My parents bought it for me from an antique jeweler on our last trip to Israel together back in 1991. I kept it along with another necklace from Israel with a hamsa which was also missing. Once more, I searched every jewelry box, drawer, suitcase, unable to locate either necklace.

Giving up all of these things as gone, I have been trying with all of my might, to simply let go. Wondering where on earth each could have gone, grieving the loss, and then letting go. “They are only things” I kept telling myself.

And then the magic of grace occurred during my weekly meditation. It went like this. My mind went to the necklace, I missed it. I gave it up as lost. My mind went to the embroidery, I missed it. I gave it up as lost. My mind went to other embroideries I made including one I had done of my mother, my grandmother and me on the top of a jewelry box and with that I realized this was the only jewelry box I didn’t check for the necklaces and why? Because it was still on the top shelf of my container.

When I dismantled My Container I made a conscious decision to remove the clothing, books, dishes, and food but keep the sacred things on the top shelf as a remnant of the Container Project- once again to mark a place and keep me more aware.

I came home, went to the armoire and there they were, the red string, the embroidery, and both necklaces along with a self portrait, a photo card from Steve, the quilt from the cover of my book, and my personal memory quilt of of my mother’s jean suit- all right there in my container to not only keep me more aware, but to help me feel gratitude for the security of a container for all of my sacred things.

Published by SilkQuilt

Pittsburgh-based fiber artist, Louise Silk, creates art that combines aesthetics and functionality with meaning and memories. From the influence of a 1972 MS Magazine article to the current SILKDENIM label, her quilt experiences culminate in a display of her particular capacity to use her patchwork skills to piece together just about anything into an aesthetic meaningful whole.

4 thoughts on “It’s still about the Container

  1. I call this “outsmarting” myself. The trick is to remember that I should trust that smarter self and look where she thought to keep things safe. ( It’s usually the last place I think to look.)


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