In honor of the start of National Poetry Month I thought I’d share a piece I’m currently working on. It’s based on a Rumi poem and uses the old linoleum from the bedroom closet of the house we used to have in Indiana. I embroidered the words with strips of fabric leftover from another piece (We Are Drawn To You).
I’ve been in love with Rumi’s poetry for twenty years, which is shocking to realize it’s been so long. This particular poem I never really liked, it always bothered me and I couldn’t tell why it just seemed like something was missing. Some crucial piece, the heart. So a few weeks ago (maybe months at this point, time has somewhat lost its meaning to a certain extent), I bought The Essential Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks of course) and was gobsmacked to read the (formerly missing) beginning of this poem:
”I WAS A HIDDEN TREASURE AND I DESIRED TO BE KNOWN”
The version of the poem I had held onto for 20 years just started with “Tear down this house”. That never seemed right, but THIS! Oh my god this was what I was missing, this is everything! How could Coleman Barks have removed it from the Illuminated version?
Finding this also came directly on the heels of me reconnecting with The Song of Amergin (and embroidering an entire quilt with it, but that’s another story)—- so I was very drawn to the “I Am” statement. It all clicked and Wow. When I read this one new (to me) line I knew that was what needed to be embroidered on this linoleum I’ve been holding onto and dragging from home to home with me across hundreds of miles. Six or whatever years ago I knew I wanted to embroider on this linoleum but nothing seemed worthy.
Well here it is, in progress. There are other panels not pictured. The biggest piece is about 2’x4’. To finish this I am mounting each piece to wood (separately). Just have to make some more progress on the quilt, first, then can free up space in the studio to fire up the new jigsaw! Yay!