Change is always longed for, and never stillness. Yet does the seed shift restlessly in its place, crammed all around by loam? Does it yearn to dance and long to give voice to its being? Or does it wait, drinking in silence and immobility, swaddled by soil and held by the earth. It knows this dark womb is working its deep and loyal magic, and that spring may not be hurried.
Photo and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2018
Bunting, long dead, flapping against the window, and the skeletal branches outside feeling cold and unadorned. Yet it is these latter that will soon be reborn, holding life sleeping within, and the flags that will stay drab and dusty, all they have to look forward to is being packed away until the next celebration. Outside, the green leaves will bedeck the branches.
text and photo © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017
My name on this piece is the first cross stitch I ever did. It was something done at primary school, but I didn’t take it up as a hobby till after I became ill in my twenties. When I was at my worst, it was about the only thing I could do, albeit very slowly. Consequently, most of my friends and family have pieces in their houses, some are even on display.
Just in time for Christmas 2016, I finished what is my last cross stitch (for now at least). It was a present for my husband, and I did not enjoy making it at all, it was a struggle for my middle-aged eyes and a bore for my now far more active brain. It took me four years and I was very glad to finish it, and it is a little more intricate than the one above! I got a lot of enjoyment out of this craft overall though, and it helped me through some really tough bedridden/housebound times. There was potential even in that little piece of red Binca.
But perhaps, also, sometimes potential is in the realisation that comes from setting something down, the space that is made when we set aside a thing- an activity or habit from our lives- in order to turn to something new. Stitches too, have their seasons.
Photo and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017
In the bleakness of almost December I think back, I remember, as my skin cracks in the cold, those long summer days of melting heat, when I stretched too far for my own surface and ran liquid across the road. I think of the bicycle stands sinking slowly into the depths of tar, like maybe trapped dinosaurs once did, and of tyre tracks that span conglomerate up into the air, spitting back down like hot hail.
For the cold is here now causing me to huddle my black beauty around centres of strength, and the weak places split like an old man’s smile. Lined I am now by more than white apartheid borders, yellow forbidden zones and cats’ eyes down my spine. Are you on the left or right? Or do you travel a middle way? Whichever you are can you see that those on the other side are as right or left as you are? For the other is not always different, and the seasons pass, and the sun will warm my epidermis again, till I simmer with stickiness like a ready rice pudding, and sparkle in the sun.
©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015
Here is the centrepiece of home, the warm heart hearth where the flames of compassion stay lit in all seasons, dawn to dusk. The curled cat may stretch now and again, glancing outside, the glass holding sunrays and siftings of icing sugar snow at arm’s length like a picture frame. Fire dances, coals burn, feelings zing in the heat, empathy and loving kindness keeping the centre ever still and white, with azure flickering in the depths. Unquenchable, inexhaustible, never-failing love.
Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015