Hill tribes fabricMy eyes keep being drawn, lately towards the bedspread on our bed.  It was a gift from my cousin and his then partner.  They were living in Northern Thailand then, and the bedspread is a queen sized blanket, painstakingly hand sewn in colourful threads on a dark pink background, with the panels machine sewed together at the end.  I find it endlessly beautiful, especially the way that it tells a story.

I can see in my minds eye, the woman and her needle, sitting on a rug on the earth, in the sun, watching her children as she sews.  The earth and the sun are a million dream miles away from this bedroom in Geelong West.  I wonder if the craftswoman could see, in her magical minds eye, where her work would travel; another small domestic scene.

I bought a small roll of hand sewn and dyed, rough hewn fabric from a Karen hill tribe woman sitting on another mat, in a lane way in Chiang Mai, years before.  Little black stitches trace the course of daisy-like blooms.  I have never known quite what to do with the little roll, except pull it down to admire it every now and then.  I’m sure that a purpose will perfectly reveal itself  for it one day.

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When I think of the hands on, personal, age old ways in which these things were made, I think now of the writing that I am doing, and the way that stories both knit together, and unravel before you.  I think of the drawings that beckon my autistic three year old outward, into focus, as he creates ephemeral pieces of art worked in texta, his personal style often reminding me of fabric weavings.

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In a world of mass produced consumables, it is soothing to touch things made by human hands, rich and heavy with the unseen stories behind them, that imprinted memory of objects that carry with them the past along with the present. Laying hands upon them sets you back upon that journey that leads to another person, and we connect, feeling the patterns and days that make all of us the same behind the differences.

Linking up with Jess and #IBOT