This is a baby blanket made for me by a neighbor (Mrs Kinney!) when I was born. I don’t have a sentimental connection to other blankets from my childhood, and I don’t even know how much I actually used this as a baby, but this one has always has a presence in my mind. I turn 36 this Friday, so I’ve been thinking about things I’ve had for a long time and what it’s like to have things connected to our existence. I love how John Dewey described this effect. He called it “funding” – that is, the way we create significance and meaning via the experiences we have, then associate those meanings with the objects and spaces around us. There’s something about the color, the shapes, and the idea of the bicentennial of the United States all coming together in this blanket that’s always been interesting to me. Now I’ve got the piece hanging in my studio; who knows what other meanings and resonances it will gather as time continues.
Tag Archives: baby
Flying Through the Pillars of Creation
Above is my daughter, Miranda, warping through the Pillars of Creation in her pod.
Miranda Grace Ballou
Your hands and feet… your eyes and brain… they are all more than fresh; they are still being knit together.
As I sit here, there you are across the room in your mother, your heart striking a tattoo of potential to future joys and woes. When I think about all that I am, all that your mom is, all that our people are, all that our world is, I am caught short of breath… not really overwhelmed, but overawed.
Overawed because I know that, in major ways (foreseen and unforeseen), I will be part of the way you access all that has been. This great world, this great universe of experience and time and sensation and being – each facet part of your inheritance as a human being – is going to be presented to you by my faltering, limited, frail hands and voice.
And I am moved by all of this, partly because I know that being alive is hard and I don’t want you to hurt. But I am more moved by it because I know how much the miracle of being conscious has inundated me, made me, transformed me. The glories and wonders of the things you’ll know and see and touch and hear and be flood me; I, too, know them, and know that you’ll know them so much differently than I have. But we’ll have that knowing to share.
Part of that knowing is a realization that the dignity of what you are is because of a Story that transcends space, time, personality, individuality, and being itself. That’s the place I want to start, even as we explore everything else, because everything else is embedded in that Story. You are in that Story.
You are the precious thoughts of the Author of that Story. You are the manifestation of the articulated structures of Story rippling through all things. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!