I read a lot of medical journals and research statistics about what the world will be like, medically, in the coming years. Lots of people I know are posting about the health and illness of family and friends and that gets me thinking about the future. The statistics in the United States regarding dementia are staggering with no cure arriving in the immediate future. I remember sitting in the movie theater watching Julianne Moore in Still Alice and astonished at the course of her illness.
There is a lot written about the impact the arts can have on those with memory deficiencies. A song can trigger a memory. When someone smells a scent from their childhood they reflect on those memories and stories giving their loved ones a glimpse of the individual’s world and allowing the family an opportunity to recapture a moment in time of their loved one.
I decided to follow my own advice and go to my studio to capture a moment. One of my favorite experiences, in my life, was a trip to Japan back in 1990. I spent ten days visiting Kyoto, Nara, and Mt. Koya. It was a magical trip and drew me in deeper to my love of Asian culture. It shouldn’t be a surprise given that information that I went to my studio and pulled out a drawer of fabric filled with Asian inspired fabric.
Since that inspirational trip, I’ve developed an ongoing love of the Japanese people, their food, and their culture. One of the most memorable experiences I had was visiting the Zen rock gardens across the country. I’ve created a body of work where I the quilting follows the Zen rock garden designs. They are meditative pieces and I often use them in presentations because participants can do a finger meditation directly on the work.
I went to the studio today with the idea of capturing another memory that I can use as catalyst of the mental file folder I have of Japan. Every time I look at this piece it will take me back to an earlier time. It honors a culture that has taught me many valuable lessons. The work was a meditative experience in and of itself, providing me with studio time to be reflective emotionally and spiritually.
What moments do you want to capture? Is there a song, a poem, a photograph that sparks a memory? How do you use your creative energy to share your life stories? Remember, every creative venture leaves a legacy!