Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Stitchings of the Past- Dasha Shleyeva - Assignment 4
This first part was supposed to be a reflection of things that she has taught me:
Cooking and Gardening. I wanted to make an apron out of the skirt she gave me last time I visited her in Russia but the skirt got lost in the move recently and I was unable to locate it. This apron is still an homage to her and a reminder for me to not forget my tradition and to continue to cook our traditional recipes for our friends and family here, passed down in our family over the many years. In Russia it has always been a big, cultural aspect to not leave the table hungry. In fact, it's extreme overcompensation that still hangs in the air, brought out in my relatives' constant nagging questions of, "Are you hungry still? Do you want more soup? More Fish? No more soup? Then have more salad! No more salad? Then more potatoes!" And it goes on and on. It's literally such an "insatiable" concept at the table that it makes you laugh. As for the gardening thing, I want to continue gardening the vegetables I remember helping plant as a child back in Domodedovo in our new yard in Southeast Portland. Potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, dill, squash, strawberries, raspberries, dill, onions, and on and on. (Maybe even chickens some day! )
The second part was to finish a song that was inspired by Baba Anya about old age and a reflection on the ebb and flow of life. At the time that I started writing it, last spring, the flowers had just started to bloom, like they are now on the cherry blossoms and it made me think of the bloom and fade of life itself and how it can still be beautiful even though it is sad in many ways. I thought about how Baba Anya once asked me to sew a dress for her out of a certain fabric, so that it would be the dress she would be buried in. I thought it was the most absurd, sad, terrible thing to say to an eight year old. When I look at it now, I realize she was just showing that she wasn't afraid of death, it was a fact of life, and she was making light of a heavy subject. I deeply respect the ability to come that far in accepting our inevitable fate.
So my friend Ashley King and I collaborated together to create a Violin and Guitar piece which we will perform live. (I will also post an edited and finalized mp3 later)
I must say, the process of this assignment really was amazing and I loved all the background that went into it. I would definitely do it again.