Thursday, July 02, 2020

Book Without Words (or Book of Many Many Hours)

It looks like the state in which I live  is going back into lock down. We had been doing very well, but some foolish, selfish people who for some reason think they know better, have ensured that  lockdown will happen once again. I must admit  I feel overwhelmed by the negativity projected onto the authorities/government who are dealing with a situation  with which they have never dealt before, when indeed until a few weeks ago we were doing well because most people towed the line. I am sick of the keyboard warriors who trawl and criticise, I am sick of the conspiracy theorists. How did we get so negative??? This is a deadly virus which has the ability to decimate populations. So we have to wait, and be careful, and do as the health authorities advise- what exactly is so bad about that? We are accountable in this situation- in days gone by to flaunt the advise would have been considered negligent, the consequences are foreseeable. I was reminded the other night whilst watching Paradise Road, a movie about women prisoners of war on Sumatra how bad things can be. The women were there because the ship on which they were sailing to England  after abandoning Singapore, was bombed ( the ship was full of women and children). The conditions were harsh , hard and demoralising, that any survived is a wonder,  but they did.  All we have to do is stay at home where we have food, running water, toilets and showers, digital media of all kinds, even things to keep us occupied- I know some people are struggling because of lost jobs and that is indeed hard, but compared to what went on in the earlier part of the twentieth century we have much to be grateful for. We need to be kind, think of our fellow human beings, protect our fellow human beings, wash our hands,  get tested if  you have any symptons , wear masks,  find a way forward that embraces all humanity in an inclusive empowering way. We need to be generous and helpful to those who have less or those who  are in straitened circumstances because of these times and we need to take responsibility and accountability for this ourselves.

In fact I have found myself mostly without words , processing what is going on- the willingness to endanger other people, the racism boggles my mind. So I have been making a Book Without Words, a documentation of how I feel. I am much inspired also by illuminated texts ( or books of hours) for the prayers, observations and lessons that were drawn and written in them- each one a call for reflection or meditation of some kind. These are my thoughts and emotions stitched onto paper on a daily basis for at least the last month- I am up to page 32  and I think it will keep going for some time yet, maybe until I run out of paper. I have mostly been using Auriful woollen thread, which adds a rather pleasing hairiness to the stitching/words- I like the idea of hairy words/writing. I like that I can change thread colour and add margins and can change  page colour.

I like that the pages are double sided. The back stand in its own right- and it feels different. On the right side the stitching sits more on top so it is more tactile, on the back it seems more intrinsic to the paper. It might yet become the Book in the Time of Covid.


els said...

I so agree with you Dijanne. Thank you for your words and I LOVE your book without words.
You are so creative and full of ideas. Big hug.

Chyfey said...

Thank you Dijanne for voicing my horror at people’s behaviour.
I fear their behaviour will get worse before we are out of this chaos.
I so love your Book without words ,what a fabulous idea and it’s coming together so beautifully.
I did a Year of blood once ,a calendar with the number of terrorist murders stitched in red over each day.

lei said...

Your book without words--just lovely!

I thought it was only in the States that we had the deplorables who eschewed science and listened to our idiot in chief in the white house. We are an embarrassment to the rest of the world.

I try to take my mind off of it and am working on a large wall hanging--it helps.

Thank you for all your inspiration throughout the years.