Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Remembering Martina

I am thinking often about my friend Martina these days. She was an art therapist that I worked with for many years as my co-therapist in an art therapy group in a psychiatric hospital. She taught me so much about the creative process, especially how to start a piece and to trust that I would be intuitively directed by my own inner creativity.

I am thinking about her now because it was two years ago that we celebrated her last birthday. She was diagnosed with cancer and suffered for 1 1/2 years after her diagnosis throughout various conventional and some unusual treatments. Here is a photo of her 45th birthday..I am on the left behind the cake and Martina is on the right, wearing her "Susan Saradon wig". Behind us are friends Wendi and Hope. This was a happy day of celebration and we had no idea that 5 months later she would die.
I am also thinking about her now because I am working on a beaded quilt and am relearning/remembering some of the things I learned from Martina. In May I signed up to participate in the "Bead Journal Project" (BJP) which you can read about here. It is not as easy as I thought it would be and I am struggling to complete the first month's piece, which is why I have not written about it until now...and notice there are no photos to be seen!!
This is what I said in Martina's eulogy: "Martina taught me that the process, not the outcome, was the most important thing. And I would watch her as she painted or quilted, not following any plan. She would work and re-work the piece – adding on to it until she felt it was finished. I would say to her… “but I liked it best when it was two layers underneath” and I knew it would be different the next time I visited. And I tried to learn not to be attached to outcome but enjoy the transformative journey."
Earlier this month I was given a book called "The Book Of Angels" that was found among Martina's belongings and in the book was tucked this beaded fabric card that I made for her last birthday. I had given it to her with a Quilting Arts magazine. I don't know how this card found its way into the angel book, but I was honoured to receive this gift.
If Martina was here now, I would show my bead mess to her and she would give me some good advice, not about what to do next to fix it, but about how to get out of my own way. Maybe she would direct me to focus on the process of my beaded project for the BJP and why I am struggling so much with the outcome. Hmmm....thanks Martina!


swooze said...

What a nice remembrance of your friend. Thanks for sharing.

Greenmare said...

what a wonderful tribute,
martina lives on in your stitchery.

Darlene said...

Wonderful tribute to your friend - thank you so much for sharing! I'm sure you can feel her presence in many things you do and enjoy.

Jeanne said...

Kathy, she sounds like a very good friend. The things you shared and the memories you have will always be with you.