Over a year ago a seed was planted; the idea to hold a workshop across the Atlantic in England. It started with a few requests and then an invitation from a remarkable woman who wanted to see the seed grow as much as I did. Over the year we planned and more and more people become involved and made significant obligations in time, money, and energy. Teachers, hosts, staff, participants, and all of the families around them watered the seed until we all had a week full of fun in front of us with months of anticipation. I fluttered with excitement fueled by what lay ahead.
But with one fatal murmur at the passport check at The UK Border, the carefully cultivated, now mature plan was ripped out and in front of me left a huge ugly crater big enough to hold 100 rusted buses. Where there once was the plan to share, felt, laugh, and bond with new friends, there was now only the gaping negative space. How on earth could I cross this hole in front of me?
At first the loss overwhelmed me. Complete emptiness. No ideas. Just The Crater. “Gutted” was the word of the moment. But only hours later, there were new revelations emerging. The Crater made space. And the space allowed different experiences and opportunities. Lee and I shared something dramatic and like the good friends that we are, it bound us tighter together. Love poured in through the few texts we were allowed to receive and the dirty ancient phone attached to the wall in the holding room during our 9 hour detainment. I felt the love even through the greasy receiver. After our release, we had 6 hours of time to kill from 12 am to 6 am before our flight back home. Our UK friends, Cheryl and Malachai, whom we had never met in person, drove over 2 hours each way in the dark and rain wee hours of the morning to spend some time with us in the cold, badly lit airport. I can not express in writing how they warmed that time and space. I will cherish that short time spent with them. Kyla, Lee, and I began to plan how on earth we could make up the cancellation to the workshop participants. I shuttered to think of it, but as it turns out, it is another opportunity. Not only for my business to do what’s right, but also an unexpected gift back to us to feel the concern and support from the very people jilted.
|About 36 hours in for me 48 for Lee and 2 am. Not a bad looking lot considering!|
And now Lee and I are on the plane back home. Lee will have a few open days to spend with me; again, we have been given an opportunity. We have already plotted all of the things we can do. The negative space is holding all of the new positive experiences and will continue to do so in ways I can’t even imagine yet. Because of what did not happen, my life is richer in an alternate way.
And here lies a needle felting analogy! The negative space, what is NOT there, enriches our sculptures. Cherish the interest of negative space. Allow it to be, creating dimension, shadows, peaks, and valleys. Do not fill it. See it nature and mimic in your work by leaving it empty. It holds goodness. I will elaborate more on that when I can hold my eyes open.
We will land soon. One more new experience in line for me thanks to The Crater: the shower and nap of a lifetime.