There are no words…

I’ve put off this post long enough.  I’ve been writing this blog for more than 10 years.  It was meant to be a link to my creativity and my life, to document how they play against each other becoming at times diametrically opposed, and at other times indistinguishable from each other.  That is the life of an artist.  We never retire, we just keep reinventing ourselves. 

This year has been a huge challenge in and of itself, all of the work that I had booked this year, including my trip to Japan has of course been cancelled.  Anyone in the arts, who makes their living gig by gig, knows this, that without those venues, we have no income.  Don’t cry for me, I’m fine, my late husband saw to that.  But there are others who aren’t fine. 

And now, life isn’t just about being quarantined to stay safe from a nasty unknown virus that no one seems to know much about.  Social media is full of all sorts of people who think they know, or knows someone who knows, but the bottom line is, at least here in NJ, that nothing will ever be the same as we knew it for a long long time. 

And on top of that, there is this thing that I find really difficult to talk about.  I am after all, a privileged white woman.  We fought about shit like this in the 50’s, equal rights for women, for persons of color.  Nothing has changed.  Nothing has changed in 50 years.  Nothing has changed in 400 years.  And I really struggled with this post because there is absolutely nothing I can contribute to this conversation because I am a privileged white woman living in a suburban community and I need to keep my mouth shut and let those who are on the front lines speak.  I need to listen. 

All of the organizations I’m associated with or support, particularly in the arts, have been sending me emails to state their position on where they stand on racial equality.  I can’t help but feeling it is all so bandwagon -y.  I said as much to my daughter, who very bluntly said to me, “Mom, it isn’t enough to not be racist.  It is now more than ever important to be anti-racist.  Silence is acceptance of the status quo.”  I’m still mulling that over, I know she is right, but I have no idea what that actually means and how I can help, or if I just need to get out of the way. 

And so I sit in my basement, proofing patterns, creating new works, doing what I do best, but listening to NPR around the clock, listening to experts, listening to the voices that can make a difference.  My public radio station is WNYC, so all the local news comes out of New York City.  I’m learning a lot. 

I’ve had a number of very meaningful discussions with my son, a sergeant in the Army National Guard in NJ.  I listen to him tell me about the rules of engagement, the Geneva Convention, how he is trained foremost in conflict resolution and de-escalation of a situation.  He has 10 years experience and two middle east deployments.  I listen because there is nothing I can contribute to this.  I have to listen to those who know more, have experienced more, and have something to say.

I have been wildly productive in these last three months,  and it is a tough thing to just come here and say, “Oh look at my latest project, isn’t it lovely!”  Because that seems so clueless and out of touch with what’s actually happening in the world.  But it is what I know and what I’m good at.  I’m working towards building a digital legacy of everything I’ve worked for for the last 50 years.  In my own small world, it counts.  I’d like to think I’ve made a difference in my students lives, and that I can continue to do that, until I can’t any more.  I’m not sure how moving forward I’ll be able to teach safely, that students will be safe.  I’ve had countless discussions with conference planners, arts venues, guilds and other venues that just don’t know where all this will end up. 

My original goals were to slowly back away from teaching so I could focus on leaving behind a digital legacy.  I never planned for the world to stop spinning the day I returned from teaching for 10 days in Oregon.  But it has.  And I’m so very grateful for a pension check, and for my children who both happen to be living here at the moment.  And for my house full of animals.  We have all we need, and we keep each other going, we laugh and we get pissed and we keep putting one foot in front of the other.  This is a tough week for us as a family, four years ago probably to the day, we brought my husband home to die.  He passed on the 17th of June.  Father’s Day weekend.  I can’t see a Father’s Day ad without choking up.  It is really hard on my children.

And so, I will post what I finished up last week, because it is good.  And it is what I do.  And I refuse to try to give it some contextual artsy title that speaks of hidden meaning.  I cut up old fur, wove it back together with some fun yarns that were laying around, finishing off a warp that has been languishing for too many years.  I’m leaving it untitled. And it has pockets.

And yes, we have launched another pattern my daughter and I.  This one is especially important to me because this is the pattern I started with, the beloved Daryl Jacket.  I sold variations of this jacket for years in craft fairs, and then when I started teaching, I used this pattern, polished the fit model and launched my career creating a garment construction with handwoven fabric legacy. 

There are of course a dozen patterns in my portfolio at this point.  We have launched six.  The 200 jacket is ready to go, that’s the one with all the darts that is more of a trim fit.  Just waiting on the final edits for the instructions.  My editor is very thorough.

So here is where you can access all the patterns I’ve launched to date.  I’ve never worked so hard, and the days fly by, it is bedtime already.  Again… 

https://www.weaversew.com/shop/sewing-patterns.html

And as always, the directions for all of my patterns are available for free on my website.  One of my friends on Facebook commented, “There’s an entire course in couture construction in your free directions.  I am in awe of your attention to detail.”  Thanks Marie.  Makes it all worth it.

https://www.daryllancaster.com/SewingPatternDirections.html

Stay safe, stay strong, and listen…

Stay tuned…

20
Leave a Reply

avatar
20 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
19 Comment authors
Daryl LancasterAlice SharickElizabethAnn McDonoughMarie Kulchinski Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
Notify of
Judith A Larsen
Guest
Judith A Larsen

It is not easy to be a privileged white woman but then that is the point. It’s certainly easier than being a woman of color. I don’t like it and am beginning to say so. Like your blog messages and enjoy your weaving projects.

Barbara Krueger
Guest
Barbara Krueger

Whether it is the photos of your projects, the sharing of your creative process, updates on your family, or perspective on current events your blog is a highlight of my day when it arrives in my email Inbox.

Elizabeth Eddy
Guest
Elizabeth Eddy

Well, digital person, you have a new teaching career, by Zoom. Here in CA, locked down, we have found three months of programs by people to ready to show their slides and talk, by Zoom. And I, as President of the Black Sheep, have faced calling on people willing to try teaching by Zoom for the first time. Next Thursday we’ll have a program by one of your repeat students, Karen Donde. We are getting better at Zooming. It is limiting, but many of us are of a certain age. And no one wants our craft to disappear. Show and… Read more »

Elizabeth Eddy
Guest
Elizabeth Eddy

And … I LOVE love this new dress, and the amazing fabric you wove for it including fur!

Jodi
Guest
Jodi

I think our daughters were separated at birth, Daryl. My Sarah has taught me more than I certainly ever taught her. My focus now is on listening and “discomfort”. I am no longer concerned if my speaking up makes someone uncomfortable and I have to be able to hear those things that make me feel the same way. I can be polite, but I can’t be silent any more. And there is no room to not share all the beauty during this time. We really have to feed our souls if we are going to be strong for a sustained… Read more »

Caroline Morris
Guest
Caroline Morris

We don’t know what the future will look like. The assumption is that it’s not much different to now but that’s not always true. Four years ago you couldn’t have predicted what your future life would be like as a widow because you had no experience to base that on. In the same way we have no idea what a post pandemic world will be like.

Today is what counts, today and then tomorrow. Rinse and repeat.

Peggy Bowman
Guest
Peggy Bowman

Daryl, your blog always has been, and is such a breath of fresh air, especially now during this year of turbulence. Thank you for sharing your joy and creativity with its fits and starts, and for sharing your heart, your humanity/brokenness and honesty, and for making us think and feel with you. Wonderful to see your dream of digital patterns coming true.

bittenbyknittin
Guest

Thank you so much for your advice to LISTEN. I find myself asking, “What do I do? What do I do?” I’ve had to stop following some people because they are erroneously making everything about them and/or preaching to the choir. Your advice is much more helpful.

Joanie
Guest
Joanie

Thank you (and I love the dress)

Carla
Guest
Carla

Thank you for your words, your work, all of it.

Amy Norris
Guest
Amy Norris

Popping in to say that I’ve been thinking about you and the family, knowing this is a tough time of the year for you. Big hugs.

And from another privileged white woman, thank you for your honesty. You’re right – there are no words.

As for the vest — fun! And I do think it has a title: “I’m leaving it untitled. And it has pockets.” 🙂

Love to you all!

Susan Logothetis
Guest
Susan Logothetis

I think you really did name your newest piece…”And It Has Pockets”.

Susan L Sanderson
Guest
Susan L Sanderson

Daryl, I too am a privileged older white woman and I too am trying to listen more and really HEAR what my brothers and sisters are saying. I appreciate your words, you’re right nothing has changed in our lifetimes and change it must

Marilyn Robert
Guest

I hope you do a pattern of the new zipper piece with fur – very nice.

Rose
Guest
Rose

Daryl, I am also a older privileged white woman, but I’ve always considered myself as non-races. When I was 17 back in the early 60’s and the riots were happening in LA, I remember standing in front of the TV and yelling at my father, who was yelling and using many profanities, that he need to stop! They are human beans no different from us, their blood was red like us, they loved, lived and died like us. And this man that was born and raised in New Orleans said you don’t know what your talking about and proceed to… Read more »

Marie Kulchinski
Guest
Marie Kulchinski

Yes, I am a privileged white women. Yes, I am listening and taking the time to support activities that help our small rural town. My voice is not loud by my actions make a difference to other especially the kids who need food every day. I really love what you are doing as a weaver who has never made clothing out of my cloth, that was my mothers job. I am sure she is watching over all of this and say make the cloth and sew us some new garments. The fact that you are grading your patterns gives me… Read more »

Ann McDonough
Guest
Ann McDonough

I may not be white, but definitely of the priviledged class. I still have a well paying job that I can do in the seclusion of my home that affords me the ability to shop online (necessities as well as frivolous stuff), get food delivered — all on the backs of others. Your daughter is right on. Very eloquently spoken. But everyone processes differently. Its okay and beneficial to just listen. Listen to what people have to say. Hear their stories of prejudice and injustice. Examine your own feelings before jumping into action to make sure it comes from a… Read more »

Elizabeth
Guest
Elizabeth

I appreciate your words and discussion of current events as many of your words reflect my own feelings. I am looking forward to the day I can once again take one of your classes.

Alice Sharick
Guest
Alice Sharick

Everything you…yes!

Read previous post:
All in a Day’s Work…

Actually, that title should read, all in a month's work, but whose counting? This has been a year so far,...

Close