In memory of Lewis

All making paused for a while in February.  My oldest and closest friend Lewis died.  He took his own life.

He was a mountain biker and loved the forest and that has given me a way through all of this.  We gathered branches and greenery from the forest to place on his coffin and later returned them to a lovely sheltered spot by a badger’s sett where we can go and sit and remember him.

And I’ve been working on a hand stitched piece in his memory – shots of work in progress below.  These are fragments of natural fabrics that I’ve dyed with plant material and rust, simply stitched in a way that feels reminiscent of the movement of the wind, the trees and the light in the forest.  I’ve found great comfort sitting stitching and thinking of him; the whole piece feels like my thoughts and memories embodied in physical form with its gentle colours and soft edges.  It’s a long narrow strip like a narrative unwinding and I’m considering whether to tie it to a tree or bury it in the woods.  In some ways I’d like to keep it by me but somehow I feel that leaving it for the forest to engulf might be most appropriate and a good way to say goodbye.

 

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2 thoughts on “In memory of Lewis

  1. I’m so sorry, Julie. You’ve had so much loss to process. It’s beautiful that you’re responding by creating, and creating so beautifully. The colouration and dashed stitches remind me of copper birch bark.

    The intertwining of nature and loss reminded me of H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald. Have you read it? Such poignant writing about loss and grief. “There is a time in life when you expect the world to be always full of new things. And then comes a day when you realise that is not how it will be at all. You see that life will become a thing made of holes. Absences. Losses. Things that were there and are no longer. And you realise, too, that you have to grow around and between the gaps, though you can put your hand out to where things were and feel that tense, shining dullness of the space where the memories are.” I’m glad you can take time to make and reflect on his life. Thinking of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this, Cari. Yes, I loved H for Hawk, that’s a lovely quote. At least somehow the OCA course has opened up for me ways of responding and processing the loss, that’s been so helpful. Good to hear from you.

      Liked by 1 person

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