I was taking a class on dream interpretation.
Every morning I would wake-up and write what I remembered. One night my dreams moved like a roller coaster ride—up and down, around and around, in and out. Nothing made sense and then it stopped for just a split second and there she was siting behind a tree stump that wasn’t made of wood. Opal clear water flowed out of the center of the stump and she was petting the head of a dragon made up of the colors of blue, green and purple. She looked at me. Suddenly, she was gone and the roller coaster ride of dreams continued. I spent a lot of time looking up what this meant. I realized that the tree stump was petrified wood. I also knew that I needed to do a quilt on her and the dragon. I decided to add a background of red wood trees, used silk ribbon for the leaves, and fabric paint. The tree stump is appliquéd with hand died cotton fabric. The water and dragon was a challenge though. The water in the dream was crystal clear with sparkles of colored light—like an opal I once saw. I went to a quilt show with a friend in San José, California and found this yarn. I also found a book on Chinese knotting. So I made the dragon by knotting the yarn and in turn it also became the water. I added a pearl and stone beads to represent the chakras. The quilting around the woman, dragon and tree stump is free form and done by hand. It begins in the dragon’s mouth. I began the quilt in Northern California and completed it in Illinois. (19.5 x 28.5 inches, 1999-2001)
Now it’s 2020 and we are boiling over with frustration from a pandemic and decades of racism and the lives that this has taken from our communities. I look at this quilt that represents an inner me…who I am. I look at the dragon and what it represents…the power within. I feel lost, what more can I, a white woman, do to help our communities and the deep pain and fear that many of my friends feel that racism causes. I too sometimes feel this fear for my husband a man born in Costa Rica. I have seen and yes felt the racism as a woman who is in a mixed racial marriage. I have also felt the love in a multi-cultured community. That love is more powerful than any racial hatred. I have seen this in the past 4 years and I see this now as communities, mine included, work together to find answers and solutions to a horrible problem that has festered for too long.
I might not at this moment be able to do more than write poems, work with a group of beautiful women in a theatre group thru zoom on these times, and take photographs of my life in lockdown in France but I know that it’s not just the big actions that count in making this world a better place for all. It’s the small actions too for they build and spread and help in creating a better place for all.
That’s who I am within, that’s the dragon power that resides in me.
“There are no great things, only small things with great love.” Mother Teresa