Friday, 30 January 2015

blue notes and life lessons

life lessons. 

learn to expect the unexpected. 
you'd think that by now i would have that firmly tattooed inside my left eyelid. 

I have to confess I was humbled by the indigo vat last week...which for the first time since 1991 (the year I first dabbled in the blues) decided to behave like a bit of princess and consequently was a little slow to reveal the magic. 
pale blue instead of brilliant blue.

With the wisdom of hindsight I should have put the freshly prepared vat to bed overnight wrapped in quilts and blankets but foolishly (possibly thinking hey, it's summer) left it out under the stars overnight. 

An extra 24 hours and a bit more warmth yielded truly lovely results, sadly too late for my forgiving students (and me) who had already dispersed with the four winds - but very happily for Judy (see blue hand below). It certainly reinforced the rules of indigo, which likes to be warm and wellfed, just like the rest of us. Didn't do a great deal for my self-esteem, but I'm sure the Dogs Above had their reasons. I sure hope they did. The inner bear took a bit of a pummelling.

At least all present were very happy with their metalwork (guided by Roz Hawker), received the magic of string (learned originally from Nalda Searles), loved the fabulous food (thank you Chloe Keylock), revelled in the gorgeous surroundings (thank you Michael and Judy Keylock) and enjoyed the dog therapy provided by the ever joyful Molly.

photo by Michael Keylock
I'm taking my lesson in the spirit of the wisdom below 
(thank you Michael for bringing it to my attention)

and have come home to more wise words from another Michael 
(image borrowed from the Michael Leunig appreciation page)

the teapot of constancy is filled with Lady Grey tea, 
the dog of sanity (who slept on my bed last night) is by my side. 

Admittedly the armchair of philosophy needs serious re-upholstering and the rug of constancy could do with a vacuum and possibly a good beating but the vase of tranquility is full of jasmine

and happily every day is a new beginning.



  1. I love you India Flint! I love your writings, your candor, your wit, your spirit, your generosity, and your amazing creativity!
    I am honored to have studied a few days with you in Oregon and to read your blog for inspiration! Thank you !

  2. Oh, dear... I know the feeling. Things that don't quite turn out as planned while teaching are that much more humbling than if it had just been for us. You'll probably be extra careful to feed and warm your indigo forevermore! Thanks for the virtual smell of jasmine... one of my nightly pleasures when I lived in Greece, a scent of scents!

    1. Absolutely. A lesson firmly learned! And I love jasmine so much it's even inked on my arm...

  3. the dog of sanity... oh yes xxxx

  4. thank you for sharing your thoughts, photos and the words of wisdom. I enjoy it all!

  5. Its difficult always to say something sensible i i think i ought to , i, am thinking of feed the blue , too much and too little i am going to use my vat for second time , try to feed with fructose and henna , and see what happen , long time since i have done colouring . yes just heard you voice and talk about plant , make me thing of all the hours together with you and what we have done and learn , could not be without !!! thank you India

  6. Indigo can be a fickle mistress. I've had a couple of days when the vat just didn't want to play, no amount of encouragement or cajoling would help, so I close her up for the day and the next day when you check, she's ready. Luckily, this has only happened here at home and not in a workshop (knock on wood).

    1. It's worth it all for the blue magic though...

  7. I love the end of your story and lesson.. there is always the new day... and your cute pup waiting for you.

  8. Pale blues remain lovely blues... and the dogs above remain insistent (for me, at least) in setting some lessons over and over!