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Report From PIA – December 13

I went to a holiday craft fair today, and at one booth admired some felted wool scarves. Some were covered with dots of different colors, and others with leaf-shapes. They were beautiful, and I told the artist so.

“You must enjoy that element of surprise as they come out,” I remarked. She answered that there was no surprise at all, that the technique was so perfected that she knew exactly how each would look. I thought, really?

It seems to me that even when someone gets very skilled with any particular method of creation, when you’re making something that’s one of a kind there is something magical that happens in the marriage of material and creator. As a hand weaver, in the old days, I knew well how a particular yarn would blend with another, and yet the materials themselves had some say in the matter. Yes, I knew what the piece would look like, and yet I was also surprised every time as I discovered that there was something more than I had planned.

Gardeners have this experience in spades because we design with living elements. We’re used to putting color, texture and form together and then standing back and watch it take on a life of its own. Those who garden soon learn that their creation is certainly more than 1+1=2, and that somewhere in the process of moving from vision into execution to finished design, something mysterious enters in.

When we say yes to the creative process, whether it’s crafts, writing, cooking, or gardening, we open ourselves up to the experience of seeing that 1+1=2 plus.

The garden's magic keeps reveling its self over time.

The garden's magic keeps reveling its self over time.

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