Hello Friends,

I hope you are all finding ways to stay well and find comfort these days. Like everyone I am needing art and community, something in abundance on Poetry Friday and at Spark! For those of you who are unfamiliar Spark is an inspirational art exchange. Visual artists inspire writers and writers inspire visual artists. When I participated a couple of weeks ago. I was matched with Elisabeth Mazzilli, a textile artist who hooks rugs. This immediately made me smile because when I was a kid, my mom went through a serious hooked rug phase. I still have a few of them. Above is the piece Elisabeth sent me. Here is the poem, I wrote in response.

 

night crossing
fireflies signaling
the moon

 

I know my details are off. Those are dragonflies, not fireflies and that’s the sun, not the moon, but that’s okay. The inspiration piece is simply meant to inspire a creative response. For some reason, Elisabeth’s piece absolutely compelled me to write haiku. I tried a few approaches to my response piece, and they were all haiku.

 

Here is the poem I sent Elisabeth for her inspiration.

 

I collect worries

I collect worries
the way others collect stamps.
I paste them to my skull
without concern for resale value.
At night when others sleep,
I page through them,
remembering where I got them,
how much I paid,
what else was happening at the time.
I savor them,
the way others hold onto places
they will never go.

 

Here is the piece she made in response over a mere 10 days.

 

 

Isn’t it incredible? Look there’s me and my quill and all my worries. I especially love the ribbons of worries and all the little knots.

 

That’s it for me this week. I look forward to reading your posts and to seeing you here more often.

Sending all good wishes,

Liz

29 replies
  1. Linda Mitchell
    Linda Mitchell says:

    Yes, this IS incredible. Wow to the hooked rugs…and wow to the poem..s. I have joined SPARK once and then didn’t feel like I had time to do it again right away. But, your post makes me want to jump right back in. I love collaborating with other creatives. It makes my heart happy.

    Reply
    • lsteinglass
      lsteinglass says:

      Hi Linda, I took a break too, feeling like I didn’t have time. I’m very happy I jumped back in. I wouldn’t have written these poems if I hadn’t participated.

      Reply
  2. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
    Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    Both of these exchanges are extraordinary! I imagine it must be so nice when the pairing is more like a melding… like you both understand each other’s muses at a deep level. I love both of your poems, Liz. And how nice, especially, to be matched with a textile artist as talented as Elisabeth!

    Reply
  3. Linda Baie
    Linda Baie says:

    I adore the idea of fireflies signaling the moon, Liz & then the ability of Elisabeth to create them in a rug is awesome. Wow, & then I read your poem, such a poignant & clear voice. This is who I am, so. . . And then, wow & wow, the rug Elisabeth created for you & your poem is fabulous. I have an older granddaughter (10) who “collects worries”. I will share the poem & a picture of the rug with her. Best wishes for good health in these tough times.

    Reply
    • lsteinglass
      lsteinglass says:

      I think there are quite a few of us who collect worries. I hope your granddaughter likes the poem and rug. Best wishes to you and yours too!

      Reply
  4. Jan Godown Annino
    Jan Godown Annino says:

    Yes, Liz! More art of the poem kind being catalyst to art of the word kind. And as Elizabeth Mazzilli skillfully shows with her great pice, more words in three-dimensional art. Appreciations for your lovely haiku for your mother’s lovely hooked rug. What a treasure to keep close. And thanks for. your poem of worry – suits me too. I am especially pulled to the line, about worries
    “I past them to my skull”

    I like learning about Spark! I can see the name suits this creative project.
    And it suits you. Happy weekend & be well

    Reply
  5. Jan Godown Annino
    Jan Godown Annino says:

    Yes, Liz!
    More art of the poem kind being catalyst to art of the word kind. And as Elizabeth Mazzilli skillfully shows with her great piece, more words in three-dimensional art. Appreciations for your lovely haiku for your mother’s lovely hooked rug. What a treasure to keep close. And thanks for. your poem of worry – suits me too. I am especially pulled to the line, about worries
    “I paste them to my skull”

    I like learning about Spark. I can see the name suits this creative project.
    And it suits you. Happy weekend & be well

    Reply
  6. Margaret Simon
    Margaret Simon says:

    I love seeing the results of the Spark! exchange. This one is wonderful. I am especially drawn to the rugs. Who knew rugs could be so inspiring? All those worries on what look like shoestrings to me. Here’s a haiku hooked to your worry rug:
    Criss-cross worries
    Will I be Ok? Will you?
    Art inspires hope.

    Reply
    • lsteinglass
      lsteinglass says:

      Oh, yes, shoestrings, that’s what they are! Criss-cross worries describes these days perfectly. Thanks for your haiku.

      Reply
  7. Buffy Silverman
    Buffy Silverman says:

    Wow. The hooked rugs and poetic responses/inspirations go so well together. I love that you flipped her sun and dragonflies into moon and fireflies–it makes it feel like a full day conversation. And that collection of worries is wonderful.

    Reply
  8. Kathryn Apel
    Kathryn Apel says:

    Oh my. I absolutely love what you have teamed up to produce. And my goodness – worries abound these days. (I have come here after reading about the blatant disregard for social distancing at Bondi Beach yesterday and my head is now exploding with worries… But #PF is going to help me regain my joy – so no more talk about that!) Thank-you for sharing this. Spark is one bright idea!

    Reply
  9. Kay Jernigan McGriff
    Kay Jernigan McGriff says:

    Wow! What an inspiring exchange of creativity! I can relate to the collecting worries, but I’m practicing untying some of the knots and letting them go.

    Reply
  10. Heidi Mordhorst
    Heidi Mordhorst says:

    Liz–I love SPARK! But I decided I couldn’t this time. I’ve never seen a textile artist match, and this is quite the exchange! I see your “paste page paid place” and I love the contrast between the open, simple design of the first two pieces and the knotty, complicated but also beautiful shape of the second pairing.

    Reply
  11. Bridget Magee
    Bridget Magee says:

    So much goodness and talent in this exchange, Liz! I’ve not heard of Spark, but your experience makes me want to find out more. Both of your poems and both of Elisabeth’s rugs are truly inspired! 🙂

    Reply
  12. Janet Clare F.
    Janet Clare F. says:

    Oh, I am finally here and I so love ALL of this post, Liz. Every tiny detail. Your haiku response poem, Elizabeth’s inspiration rug, then your poem on worries. (Oh give me a home where the worries don’t roam) and that incredible rug in response. Phew!!! I need to get sparked!!!! This is something to embrace and I thank you for reminding me about it. I am trying to do my best to be productive and happy and calm even though this is such a difficult time for all of this and worse. Your haiku is spot on. I love that it can stand on its own as well. Stay well and I prescribe writing more poems!

    Reply
  13. Mary Lee
    Mary Lee says:

    WOW! She takes textile arts to a whole new level! Love the way she attached the worries. Looks like they wouldn’t be too hard to clip off or yank off and just leave the writer and her pen.

    Reply
  14. Karen Eastlund
    Karen Eastlund says:

    This is a really cool interaction, and one I will have to try sometime. Your poem is deeply pasted with worry and honesty, and her response is a knotty response in just the right colors. Remarkable. I wish you less stress, more art and beauty. Your writing will surely be an aid.

    Reply

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