An Artist's Quest

Stepping Stones: following an unexplored path

This week I finished this processional banner commission that I have been working on for weeks, with a few pauses for sewing machine repairs. I am content with the results and pleased I took up the challenge (although I woefully underestimated the time spent, live and learn, that’s a different lesson).  If you are a long time blog reader then you know that sewing was the beginning of my creative journey, specifically sewing clothes.  I went college and studied design and in the last 15 years or more have traveled down the design and fine art path more than the sewing path.  So this commission, while not completely out of my comfort zone, was at the very least a stretch.  I had worked with all the pieces in the past, sewing and construction, graphic design and layout but this commission combined all those elements in a way I had not be challenged to do before.  But when connection through friends led me to this place I said, YES, and so, without knowing how I would do it but secure in the notion I would figure it out, I stepped from one stepping-stone to the next.   And that leads me to the metaphor for the week.  This life is a wandering a crossing, some of the steps we take are ours to choose, and some of the stones we strike out on are laid out for us by family and history, body and mind and were never ours to choose.  But this adventure leads ever forward and we have choices about where we step and how long we stay.  Sometimes the stepping-stone we are on is large and stable and comfortable and it takes along time to get to the other side.   Every so often because of love or loss or opportunity the stepping-stone is small and tippy and we have no choice but to leap for the next stone.  At other times we walk from stone to stone in a fog, waking in the bright light wondering how we got here.   This time I stepped onto a stone that, though a bit wobbly at first, turned out to be a welcome diversion from my usual wanderings.  You never know what saying YES can lead to.

My musings got me thinking the Robert Frost poem The Road Not Taken. Although familiar I always find it lovely to reread and remind.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Last weeks March Painting is up on the website now so check that out http://lisathorpe.com/mandala.html

Raffle tickets for the bird banner piece from my February 17th blog post are now available through The Bishop’s Ranch website, proceeds go to the Ranch Annual Fund. http://www.bishopsranch.org/

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4 responses

  1. Laura Thorpe

    The banner is SO beautiful Lisa! Leonora would be / so proud and pleased. And thanks for including the Robert Frost here. It always resonates. xoxox

    April 7, 2012 at 5:41 am

    • taking a moment to ponder our path choices is always a good process

      April 11, 2012 at 9:15 am

  2. Jane

    I love your stepping stones thoughts. It made me think about how the people we meet can be ‘stepping stones’ in our lives; the people we encounter on our journey can play an important role in defining who we become and the influencing the decisions that we make.

    This Lent I decided to journal each day about my life and faith to a student that I am mentoring for confirmation. This started out as a gift ‘stepping stone’ for her on her faith journey. Now that Lent is over the project is complete. I realize instead that she turned out to be is one of the stepping stones that I have been looking for. I have always wanted to journal, but after many, many attempts over the years I have never managed to stick at it. Through this project, I found a methodology that finally worked for me. I found that I looked forward to opening that journal every day and discovering what words would flow onto the page. I am happy to be one step closer to the next stepping stone – seems like a good way to start the Easter season.

    April 9, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    • I was also thinking of different people and paths that merge and diverge to create the complicated path we call life, I’m glad to encounter you and all my blog reader here on this interesting journey.

      April 11, 2012 at 9:16 am

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