Artist’s Eye: a stitch in time

Zeroing in

I come from a family of birders. Many of my childhood memories are centered around long periods of waiting for a certain bird to land on a tiny branch far in the sky. When I was six years old, I stood on the dock at Squam Lake in New Hampshire with my mother, father, and grandmother. There was much excitement. An eagle! Just up there!! I could not see that eagle, although everyone else could, and not long after that I was taken to be fitted for glasses. I am extremely nearsighted. Looking back, I realize that for the first six years of my life I could not see what most everyone else could. Now, sixty years later, I am in the same situation, as corrective lenses can do only so much.

I shot the above photo today. I used a 30mm lens f1.4. This lens sees things the way I do. I had forgotten that the camera is another eye and that it will capture what I am seeing when I cannot see it with my actual eyes. This detail is part of a large piece, six by sixteen feet. Whenever I am working on a bit of it, I focus in just on that one section. I was thinking today that this way of seeing is deeply contemplative. Each stitch quietly joins the fibers together. I have to climb up onto a fourteen foot ladder to see the whole piece laid out on the table.

My life is much like this. My corner of the world is in focus. As I come into contact with others, for example classes that I teach, family and friends, or the 9 figure network support system that I belong to, I forge connections that function much in the same way that each stitch in my tapestry does. In each interaction, the rest of the world goes out of focus, and that moment is clarified and becomes a building block of a larger whole.

Carol LeBaron

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