Before I take my place within the Guild, I feel I need to expand a little on my introduction as I am aware that I have made it sound as though I am a young woman setting out on her first journey, engaging in a rite of passage into adulthood. That does indeed happen, but could not be further from the truth in this instance, well, not the young woman bit anyhow. In human life-span terms I am not a young woman at all, I am an elder woman of much experience who has taken many a journey in her lifetime/s. I can just see the looks on the faces of my fellow travellers when I show up, not the young innocent woman at all, but an, um, rather older version with white hair and life experiences etched into her face! I thought it as well to clarify, I wouldn’t want to confuse anyone *smile*.
As I collected my things together for my travels, I was called to speak with Mamushek, the Elder elder of our group. I had been a little concerned about embarking on this journey, not because it was taking me away from home, but because over the last year or so I had returned to working with needle and thread, expressing myself through stitch and cloth, feeling that, at last, I had found the right medium, the right path for me, truly connected. Shortly before the invitation to travel came, I had made a firm decision to, not only focus on cloth, but to explore the medium in depth, to learn of the history of the people who worked this way, to really immerse myself . This had been praying on my mind, ‘should I go, or should I not?’ .. I knew I had that freedom of choice. It was at this point, my being on the verge of withdrawing from the offer of a Guild place, that Mamushek summoned me.
Mamushek is a dragon woman, not one to hold back and highly intuitive. As I approached her home, she came out to meet me with that glint in her eye and a big grin on her face. She looked at me, a direct seeing into look. I sighed and couldn’t help but laugh, I knew I was in for a shifting of perspective! Taking my arm she led me into her workshop – pointing at a trunk she told me to go look inside. I opened the trunk, it held what looked like a lot of sacking.
“You don’t recognise that bundle?” she teased.
Why is it that I still feel like a small child scuffing and shuffling my feet when it seems I am supposed to know something that apparently I don’t – or have forgotten more like?
“It’s not a trick question you know”, Mamushek was chuckling, “Unwrap it”.
Oh my word!! As I unwrapped a piece of work fell out. “The Journey!” I yelped. “I had forgotten all about this”.
“And…………?”, says Mamushek, head tilted to one side with that look that all adorable puppies have.
“Oh for goodness sake (I have cleaned that up)”, I sighed, “It’s my map, the map for my journey.”
Mamushek was grinning broadly and nodding enthusiastically.
“You started this map some years ago, is that not so? It has lain dormant whilst you went and experimented with all forms of creative expression and play …. Seems to me, now is the time to take up this map again, examine the places on it that are familiar to you and explore the expanse which appears to be hidden from view, under dense cloud. There is absolutely no reason why your journey under the guidance of the Travelling Artist’s Guild has to be separate from the decision of focus you have made. You have everything you need at your disposal.”
I hugged Mamushek and thanked her. Meandering back to my home I felt a real sense of enthusiasm for the journey ahead. The one I had planned before the invite from the Guild came and the one I am now embarking on are one and the same.