Thursday, May 18, 2006

Nostalgia in patterns

i came to the computer to get an image of an elephant and then got distracted and wanted to write. get my head together.

i was looking around my apartment and noticing the things i keep around.

the dresses piled up high on the couch that i'm trying to figure out which to keep or not to keep (some were just on the floor and are definately keepers). the top 2 i've had for at least 5 years. the red polka dots i wore to college friend's zeth & michelle's wedding when we were 23 (7 years).

memories of sitting on bales of hay in northern minnesota, frisbee throwing, chair dancing, our first college reunion, arugula pesto, a slip & slide, playfulness, young uncertain moves... the girls coming from nyc, seattle, boston, moline, oakland. all the girls back together. and the boys, too.

the 2nd dress is from a mural awareness benefit i went to for work years ago. came back to my shared apartment to a crazy wig party in our smushed way up in the trees apartment. lots of boys in wigs. lots of wigs kissing.

the 3rd is betsey johnson and a splurge. i wore it for jessie's 25th birthday celebration at the liberty's. her parents dressed in matching tuxes. love that.

i need some rules for myself. generally i hang onto things when they are special: given to me by my mom or anyone else important, antique, expensive for me or have huge mems associated... i am overly sentimental. nostalgic.

should i make them into pillows? quilts?

should i sell? consignment? yardsale? clothing swap? e-bay. store away?

try to wear again. the guilty tugs of clothes unworn.

see how it happens.

they just sit there, bits of memories, layered.

i have been painting patterns lately. i think they have to do with memories. but also newly created patterns that are pretty psychedelic and from my own head. sometimes i silk-screen patterns from dresses, but it feels better to create adaptations of my own patterns. more authentic. more my own story.

i want to read more about quilting. the quilting bees. bees gees. community. re-using memories practically. i don't have the patience to quilt myself. rather, i want to use paint to make my dream quilt. layer upon layer upon layer of smooth paint. messy. unruly quilts. create my own beautiful reality. i think that is why we make art. i think i'm borrowing a quote embedded in a memory.

another thought: pattern also organizes the chaos of our messy lives. is it not true?


la vie en rose said...

i loved reading some of the stories your clothes hold

shash said...

nice post. i want to see more of that one with the orange circle-y pattern - i like that one.

lisa s said...

i'm all about not being able to get rid of clothes for sentimental reasons...

read the subversive stitch if you want a bit of history about women's work....

risa said...

what beautiful memories! that´s part of why i like buying vintage dresses...i love imagining the stories that go along with a dress´past.

Dawn said...

oh mati, i know exactly what you feel about not wanting to throw clothes away. i've been really enjoying your posts lately. thanks for sharing.

Jessica said...

Clothes hold a lot of uses both functional and emotional, they trigger things because they were there when the events happened. They witnessed them, heard them, even smelled like them.

My friend came to visit me and I didn't wash his t-shirt for the longest time because his smell was so familiar. That little piece of cloth brought back 4 months of wonderful memories and he wasn't even wearing it.

M said...

sometimes I enjoy swapping my memories for others.When I sent off a dress to a friend,she got the history of it and was able to love it just as much as I did.In return she sent me hankerchiefs that once belonged to her grandmother. I say swap your stories for anothers ,that makes for a new memory and adventure.

just a thought..if not make curtains,i do that sometimes as well.

bluepaul said...

hear me sing at:

andrea said...

I love that pile of dresses. something so poetic about it, the colors the patterns, the stories behind them.

I keep clothes for sentimental reasons too... have such a hard time throwing things out! I try so hard to be selective. I have an entire box of trendy pieces and dresses from the eighties that I think ava will just LOVE going through someday... (precisely why I kept them and it dawns on me that I should dig some those pieces out and rework them since there's been such an eighties revival happening over the last couple of years!)... anyway, I so hear you.

loved reading this.