I was recently asked to create a lasting memory of a magical day with the bride’s bouquet.
The idea is to create prints with the flowers and leaves of the bouquet so to lock on fabric the energy and the memories of the event for years to come.
The simplest thing would be to print a scarf. This time around though, given the kind of bouquet, the time constraint, and the full moon of October, something else started brewing at the back of my mind.
Ideally, I am told beforehand when the event will be and what kind of flowers and foliage will be used for the bouquet. That gives me time to prepare the fabric and plan the final product.
This time it was a last minute’s commission and I had to act fast, with what I had on hand, once given the beautiful bouquet. After printing a sample from the different leaves and flowers in the bouquet, I discover that with the fabric I had I could rely only on the weeping baeckea for a good print.
The opportunity to work on a bride’s bouquet got me thinking about marriage and relationship of course, the magic of the beginning and the work it takes in the long run.
I ended up printing on cotton, and on two separate cloths. Each cloth is the mirror image of the other.
It is a reminder of how two persons, in a relationship, always mirror each other.
It happens in a marriage, but also in a friendship and in any kind of relationship. The main difference being that, while with other relationships it is easier to take “breaks”, with a romantic partner, or the kids, the mirror is always there for me to look into it…and see myself.
The strengths I see in my partner is my own strength; the beauty I am able to see, is my beauty.
The trick is that a mirror, being a mirror, reflects everything, also the things I like less or really hate to see.
The weaknesses of my partner are also a reflection… of my own weaknesses, his imperfections, a reflection of my own imperfections.
The wish with this work is to honor and acknowledge a less romantic or pleasant side of a close relationship, one that in my experience grants personal growth and has the potential to bring two persons closer together with understanding, compassion, empathy, acceptance and love.
So when I am triggered by something my partner, or my son or my daughter do (thank you lock down for providing plenty of opportunities!), I try to go beyond my need to be right and look in the mirror the other is holding up:
Do I ever do the same thing that is bugging me right now, maybe without being fully aware of it? – Am I ever selfish? Do I ever lie?, for example.
Would I like to do the same thing but don’t allow myself to? – Do I allow myself to think about me first sometime? Do I give myself permission to lie sometime?, for example.
(I am obviously not suggesting this kind of processing in a relationship that is an any way abusive)
It takes a measure of self-honesty but most often than not, the self-inquiry is an instant de-fuser. When I see myself in the mirror, it becomes easier to understand, accept and love.