When I’m out walking under the stars ‘alone’ – I find myself remembering poetry – and these favourite lines of W.B Yeats regularly come to the fore. In a twinkle of a star – I recite them to the night – and to the unseen animals and birds that see me and hear me – and know my falling steps…
“Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”
Of course – the heavens’ embroidered cloths are way out of my reach – for a while anyway…
However, in this Earthly interim – I have been given a cloth so beautiful – that the embroidered cloths of Heaven couldn’t WOW me more than in that magical moment of unwrapping…
A few days ago now it was my birthday – and my sister Caitlin came a calling – she gave me a ‘Dark Cloth’ – a hand-blocked bespoke item that she had designed and printed herself onto a hand-embroidered Victorian runner. In that sense the ‘Dark Cloth’ is as timeless as the Heavens themselves.
The design was inspired by my ‘spiritual plant’ Atropa belladonna – or Deadly Nightshade. Caitlin’s part was created especially for me – for my birthday. And as for the maker of the embroidered ‘M’ – it’s a mystery that has come down to me from out the tunnel of time.
First, Caitlin breathed new life into the old cloth with a ‘wash’ of soft grey dye – and then she hand-carved her ‘Belladonna’ design onto lino and hand-blocked it on to the fabric. Then she has hand-painted touches of ‘light’ to give the bell-shaped flowers, leaves and berries extra definition. It is a complete one-off – and here it is laid-out upon the dappled, October grass…
If the ‘Dark Cloth’ wasn’t enough – she also gave me a mellifluous ‘ribbon’ to tie in my hair – a pure silk scarf printed with a variety of beautiful leaves gathered from her garden – it is a celebration of October in silk and dye. It’s so delicately stunning – far too beautiful for my greying plait of hair! Caitlin is always way too generous in more ways than one – but I’m deeply complimented. I shall probably display it as a work of art – and occasionally I’ll run my fingers down ‘October’ – and feel time passing through my hands again and again…
This post is dedicated to my brilliant sisters – and our wonderful Mother, Sallie – whom without – none of us would exist in this lifetime – together. Thanks Ma.
My younger sister, Rosie – is a teacher in Vienna – ‘Happy Fiftieth’ on the forth – and my elder sister, Caitlin – print maker extraordinaire on the cusp. All three ‘girls’ share October as a birth month. Glorious October a time to celebrate and give thanks.
Thanks ‘big’ Sis – this one’s for yours!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
A timely reminder about my Atropa belladonna seedling.
My ‘Belladonna Babe’ has been growing a little everyday – now she is preparing for a long sleep. Here she is in her ‘bed’ in the end days of Summer. You won’t see her again now until next year – when she will grow taller and stronger – and lustier; I so can’t wait!