Friday, September 30, 2011

Language of the Love

The language of love written in threads

Mom hangs a prayer flag in her crab apple tree.
Woven words of love.
Prayer flag greetings on a porch
Prayer flag in Searsport Campground Gardens

On the shores of Searsport Campground 
For the first time in many posts, I feel at a loss for words. This community art project has inspired, challenged and informed much of my creative work for the past 3 plus years. Right now, however, I feel empty of text. I am keenly aware that it is all too easy to name and quantify this feeling, but right now, I simply want to just reside here in this space of lack of words. So this posting will be primarily a photo album. 
Reading messages 9/11/11
Prayer flags at my brother's accident site

Market Square reading messages

writing peace messages 9/11/11

Me and the "Be Kind" guy with his bouquet of flowers

Market Square reading

Market Square Portsmouth NH

Prayer flags in town

NYC Community art project volunteer with prayer flag
On the headstone of a loved and lost son.

Peace in many languages.
"Flags on the 48" on 9/11/11

Four friends who came to weave! 

The Carter Burden Center Day Of Peace Luncheon, NYC
This is what the language of love looks like.
 This has been an month filled with much love as well as grief and reflection. I am honored to be a witness as well as a participant in creating this visual language of love and peace.

Heartfelt gratitude to each of you for all your words and gestures of peace and love. The world is better for all your efforts.
~ Sarah

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

From the beginning

Summer flowers welcoming weavers to the studio
From the very beginning this project, Woven Voices: Messages from the Heart, has been about the big lesson of life ~ letting go. My original vision was that this would be a 6- 8 month project. Well, as you know it is now almost 4 years since the first messages of Peace and Hope were solicited. This repeated lesson of letting go has confronted me time and time again.

What I am learning over and over again, is that my job is to create a vision and move towards it. My job is to accept whatever show up along this path. My job is to keep this vision pure and grounded in love, peace and hope for all beings on this planet. My job is to "keep on keeping on".

As Peter Russell says, letting go is really about accepting what is.

What is ~ 
Wes weaves and Sue counts flags!
  • Amazing wonderful volunteers weavers show up and weave beautiful, love-filled prayer flags.
  • Sewers collect the rolls of woven flags, hem the edges and gently separate the flags.
  • Prayer flags are going out the door almost as fast as we make them ~
  • A dozen flags to  the World Friendship Center, Hiroshima, Japan
  • Three flags will be carried up a NH Mt peak as part of The "Flags on the 48" which began as act of remembrance and a demonstration of patriotism in response to the horrific terrorist attacks that took place in the United States on September 11, 2001.
  • A dozen flags will go via Soldiers Helpers to Army Chaplains to distribute to soldiers in Afghanistan.
  • 40 flags sent to Carter Burden Center for Aging for a 9/11 Memorial luncheon and later to be distributed around NYC.
  • Ten flags traveling to Colorado with a young woman heading back to college. These flags will be distributed along her route as she sees fit and hopefully documented with photos.
  • One flag heading to a school in Saipan with an American woman who is a teacher at the school.
  • Six flags at a Shelter for Women in NH
  • A dozen flags sent to Oslo, Norway to honor the victims of this summer tragic massacre.
  • Dozens more flags going to Spain, Washington state, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.
    Anne weaves !
The events of September 11, 2001 transformed my life, as it did our nation and the world. What transformed for me was my awareness of the power of art to transform and heal. For nine months following the events of 9/11/01 I created a large woven art work called "Each One: The Button Project, a 9/11 Memorial".

Creating this work illustrated to me the act of making art in community offers individuals and communities an opportunity to grieve as well as celebrate, honor and heal. Now, ten years later, this art work is being offered to the city of Portsmouth NH as a gift from a private donor. Tonight, September 6th at 7 PM in Portsmouth City Hall the 9/11 Memorial will be presented to the City Council for acceptance. This is event is open to the public, so if you are moved and available, please come!
"Each One: The Button Project"

On Sunday 9/11/11, the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I will be in Market Square, Portsmouth, NH at noon to read over 250 messages that have been gathering all summer. I will be there rain or shine. As I move towards closure of this public art project, my intention is that this will be last public reading of these messages. I hope that you will join me to give voice to and listen to these beautiful and heartfelt words and drawings that represent the hopes and dreams of many people from many nations.

This summer swimmer Diane Nyad  attempted a 103 mile swim from Cuba to Florida. This was her second attempt at this feat. Half way into her swim, Diana had to abandon her attempt. Please follow the link Diana's post swim blog to her own reflections on this journey.  In this achievement oriented culture, I find it inspiring to witness someone create a vision or goal and then have the grace and humility to let go. Life really is the journey, not the destination.
In my own realm, I have had to abandon my vision of going to NYC on 9/11/11. As most of you know, unexpected life events stepped in and there has been a change of course. As I wrote at the beginning of this post, I have let go of the destination and take hold of the journey. Like Diana, I am disappointed. And like Diana, I am moving on with commitment and faith. Thank you to everyone for your continued support for my vision and this journey.

After 9/1/11 I will concentrate my efforts on fulfilling Kickstarter rewards and continuing to send prayer flags to places and people in this world that need a symbol of love, peace and hope.

Prayer flags say it all~love, peace, hope, faith
In closing here is a recent email I received from a Kickstarter backer who re-gifted her flag to a young woman. This is written by her mother who drove her daughter to her first apartment. Mom writes: "I could not drive home last night, especially when I was so tired and then came the tears. "I am not ready to be all on my own...I feel so stupid.!" We went to get dinner, came back and FIRST THING we did was hang up the prayer flag. It is now above her bedroom door so she can see it every day. She is going to blow it a kiss each day before she heads out. Mary, that was possibly the best gift she has received ~ it meant so much to her that you thought to give it to her."

With love and gratitude for all the support for this journey ~ Sarah