Monday, June 19, 2017

In Limbo - and the result

A good friend of mine sent me a message yesterday asking whether I had fallen off the edge of the world because she hadn't heard from me for so long. No, I not the edge of the world, but off a cliff probably. Still hanging in there, in limbo, waiting for news regarding the work permit for a third of my class. And so much depends on it, not only these eight people's lives, but some decisions of mine as well. If they are denied the work permit, I have decided that I will not continue with the job next year. But as long as I don't know, I can't start looking for something else. And if something else - what exactly will I be looking for? My former qualifications don't fit many jobs in this area, yet I know for sure I don't want to return to being the quilter in the family without my own income from some kind of regular work. One option I have is one that I had consciously decided against twice or three times before, and it is not much more attractive now than it was then. Other options need to be searched... And although I am not a very optimistic person and in limbo is hard to endure, there is still the very unlikely possibility that some wonder will happen, the work permits will be granted, everything will be ok... Am I dreaming?
This whole thing has turned into a small quilt, however. A sketch for something larger, perhaps, but this one right now is 14"x 10". It originated from a visit to the thermal baths with my husband early April, when I was forced to look at all those huge and very fleshy Bavarian naked bodies lying and walking around. Absolutely no diversity there, everything white, lots of male parts, and, unfortunately, mostly not very attractive. (One good thing - I felt very slim after those days, and beautiful!) But as I was in the thermal environment and pondering the lack of diversity, and the ugliness of the German flesh I had a flash vision. My students from Senegal - who are, of course, always properly dressed when they appear in class, are avid in fitness and training methods, and under their T-Shirts quite a bit of muscle bulges. So I imagined how it would be to march these six well-built and mostly very black guys through these masses of German flesh. Modestly clad with a towel around their waist I would have wanted to just walk them silently, in formation like a flock of geese, through the premises. Once would be enough. On second thoughts I added the one woman as the 'tail-end' - she would have been properly clad in some kind of fabric covering the 'indecent' parts.
That was what I then kept thinking about as my 'Dream Formation'. It kept reappearing, and now as I was waiting, it took shape.

I copied a piece of continental and national outlines from my son's wall map that is hanging in our kitchen onto a piece of dissolvable plastic.

 Then I stitched over the outlines of the countries in the north of Africa and most of Europe.

After quilting the continental outlines on batting and backfabric I then hand stitched into the 'water'-areas of the entire piece.

 Did a bit of positioning of the 'geese' and opted for the version that has a slightly less structured appearance, as they did not really travel in one flock.

As you can see on this detail shot: each triangle is initialized - the first letters of the first names of the students who are being kept in limbo...

And here it is in full, the little one: African Migrant Birds Dream Formation.


  1. I like the story in this very much!
    By calling it the little one, are you intending a bigger one?

    1. The baths-part, Sandy? Yes, I like it, too, as it brightened up my gloomy day there, and made for a good laugh as I was writing this to the other teacher of the class, and we had a good time talking about this image. The human part behind it is less likeable... but nvertheless, one of the most enriching experiences in my life.
      And yes, I am contemplating a bigger one to follow.