Friday, September 13, 2013

Tell Them Your Story

(The story continues from the previous 2 posts) 
My friend called one day to see if she could bring her visiting family members over. We sat in the living room with a big world atlas and located where each family member is from in India.  

Then my friend turned to me and said, "Tell them your story".  "But I don't have my rope." "Tell them your story" she repeated. "OK." And I did - growing up in alcoholic home, journey through depression, feeling hopeless, rebuilding my trust and faith in Jesus - the whole transparent story. 

We eventually made it upstairs where my friend explained the whole Creation quilt story.  Amazing!  Then they discovered their language in the design of the For God So Loved quilt. 
Of course they wanted to see the story ropes having heard so much about them.  I brought out mine and one made in Rwanda. That called for telling my story yet again!  There was much discussion in the studio.

(They wanted their photo taken with the story ropes.)

Before leaving, I gave them Creation & For God So Loved quilt postcards. They asked for extras to share with their friends back in India. Great! I handed out more! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

INDIA and AMERICA 2 Distinct Parts To Her Story

(Story continued from previous post.)
My Indian friend, came over two days to work on her story rope. She told me her life story on that first day. But all she had time to do was cut a very long strip of filmy orange sari fabric - orange, a prominent color on her flag. 

The story she told - her story - was so culturally different from my own. It had 2 distinct and very different parts - the years lived in India and the years here in America after she married.
The second day she cut ribbons & sari fabric strips to tie to the filmy orange 'rope'. Again she told me her story. At times she stopped her story to ask me about mine. She was very interested in my faith journey through the darkness. She pressed me. How did I arrive at hope? A Hindu listening to a follower of Jesus telling her story through the darkness...back to trusting God - a conversation that started with a story rope.

She continued making her story rope.  It was all so fascinating. Even how she assigned color choices to communicate each segment of her life story were exotic & unfamiliar to me.  I sat in rapt attention listening once again to her story as she cut and tied pieces on to her long orange story rope. Upon completion, she told her story once again before she pinned it to the work wall for this picture. (2nd of 3 posts)
Next post: my friend brings her relatives to visit. 

Friends From India Come To Visit

A few years ago, our Indian friends brought their friends visiting from India over for lunch. Afterward we moved to the living room. Knowing they would eventually ask about my art, I had a couple collage journals and my story rope on the coffee table.  

As we sat on the couch, my friend pointed to my story rope and asked, "What is that?"  Picking it up I said, "Oh that is my story rope. It is my story. Would you like to hear it?"  The answer was yes and I told my story transparently as I always do, ribbon by ribbon.  

Themes of growing up in an alcoholic home, artistic talent, faith in Jesus, the nations, marriage, children, a long bout of depression, loss of hope and rebuilding faith are in my rope.  

My friend speaks English but not her friend, so she retold my story to her friend their language. 

My friend was very interested in the depression part of my story and said "I want you to teach me to make one of those."  

We made a date to do just that.  To be continued...(1st of 3 posts)
Nelson and I with our friends - photoshopped with dry brush filter. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

INDIA Hard Parts Brought to Light (3rd of 3 posts)

The women who made the story ropes in India were 'workers'. The group was very blessed to have the opportunity to process their own stories through the story rope. There were hard parts in their stories - experiences of violation and loss that were brought to light. After sharing the significance of each ribbon, there was a deeper sense of community among the women - they knew each others' now. Ahead they will use this fabric art form as they care for many women in India. 
See all 3 India posts.

Thankyou, Marcia for your India story!
Click for Marcia's Creative Call blog post about story ropes in India

INDIA Women Secretly Eager to Share (2nd of 3)

I think India must be a hard place to live, even to visit. I did not see it first hand, my friend Marcia did. But I do follow daily reports of the International Justice Missionsecuring justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. I've noted that so many of their rescues take place in India. 

India is a shame-honor culture - a hostile environment for many of the nation's women and children. Girl babies are aborted at a much higher rate than boys-so girl infanticide is a huge issue. In the news we hear that rape is always blamed on the victim with violent consequences. Domestic violence is common.

It is no wonder Indian women will not talk about their problems.  Secretly they are eager to share their hearts.  Story ropes disarm and make way for gentle, loving and supportive conversation - centered on hope because they are an important part of God's story. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

INDIA Marcia Arrives Prepared to Teach Story Ropes (1st of 3)

My friend, Marcia, was in India for a few weeks in August. 

She arrived prepared to teach workers how to create and use story ropes with women. 

I asked Marcia what are some issues women face in that culture.  A few thoughts: 

Unless they are in a high cast, women are valued much less than men • Women suffer beatings by their husbands •  It is thought that maybe in the next life, a woman will come back as a man, rather than a woman.

Seems like there would be a lot of stories for the rope in India.............more ahead.......

Monday, September 2, 2013

YAOUNDE, CAMEROON God's Story Rope Quilt

On the first night at the retreat center, I explained God's Story Rope Quilt to Kimmy.
It depicts creation, the fall, redemption and how we fit into His timeless story.

All teaching would 'hang' on the themes of this quilt. No matter what our story is, however dark it has been, we are each loved by God and a part of His story. Our past does NOT determine our future.

At the end of the workshop, the women were invited to hang their story ropes on God's Story Rope* in affirmation that they are loved by God and are in His story.

* God's Story Rope - a long golden cord.