Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The end of the beginning

the basket of messages is nearly empty
     Saturday February 11, 2012, I wove the last of the Woven Voices prayer flags. On Sunday, I sewed the edges between the final two rolls of flags.
     During the past two weeks I have been collating data and writing about this four year global peace project for my Masters of Art and Healing. As I set out to do last May, I have created an intentional ending for Woven Voices
     Woven with the threads and messages of these last few prayer flags are many emotions and much reflection. To quote from TS Eliot's The Four Quartets, Little Glidding: 
 "What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
last prayer flags on the loom 2/11/12
 The end is where we start from."
 I am keenly aware that this ending is only a pause, a brief rest before I begin again.
sewing the last prayer flags
the last prayer flag

In this space of refection I have teased out a few lessons learned while guiding this project. In the beginning, I designed Woven Voices in an effort to bring more positive energy to the world through a creative doorway. 

 Now as I reflect back, I see that in parallel with my efforts to change the world, I have changed myself.
prayer flag over traveling waters

In a manner of speaking I have embodied Gandhi's words:"Be the change you want to see in the world." 

  In my Master's thesis I have spelled out nine lessons that spiraled through the four years of Woven Voices. Central to these nine lessons is the lesson of letting go.

Implied in the act of letting go is the action of taking hold.

Like a trapeze artist who has just released one swinging bar, I am paused
in mid-air prior to grabbing a hold of the next bar.

In this mid-air space, I find faith that the lessons learned from Woven Voices will support me until I grab onto the next bar, whatever that might be.
Some Woven Voices facts ~
  • 2,214 messages received and read out loud
  • 12 public readings of messages of hope and peace  at Market Square, Portsmouth, NH
  • 1, 364 prayer flags hand woven by community volunteers
  • over 85 community volunteer weavers
  • 3 volunteer seamstresses
  • Prayer flags hanging in over 29 states
  • St. Paul MN food coop
  • Prayer flags hanging in over 30 foreign lands
There is so much to be proud of and grateful for. 
Kirpalu Retreat Center

Elementary school art room
private garden in PA

Cary, North Carolina

Vero Beach Florida
I cannot bring this project to closure with out acknowledging the many people who volunteered time, materials and finances to support Woven Voices. Thank you for your faith in my vision, your effort and energy to support the project even during the darkest hours of my life last summer.

   The Woven Voices How-To Guide  ~ In an effort to make Woven Voices available to a wider community and in a gesture to continue to ripple effect of this beautiful, loving energy, I have written
 a "how to " guide for the Woven Voices project.
private sanctuary

There is no charge for this16 page booklet. Simply send me an email (address on the side bar) and I will send you a PDF download link.

It is my pleasure to send this project out in the world so that the love and lessons may continue to unfold.

snowy peace at the well

way up high in the trees
In the near future I will post my thesis so you might read all the nine lessons of Woven Voices. For now, I am flying in the space between old and new. 

Blue skies

Eliot continues "We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time."
Yes,  "to make an end is to make a beginning".  
Namaste ~ Sarah

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